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Sample records for ambystoma

  1. Transgenesis in axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khattak, Shahryar; Tanaka, Elly M

    2015-01-01

    Transgenic animals have been indispensable in elucidating and deciphering mechanisms underlying various biological phenomena. In regeneration, transgenic animals expressing fluorescent protein genes have been crucial for identifying the source cells for regeneration and the mechanism of blastema formation. Animals are usually generated by manipulating their genome using various techniques at/in one cell embryo/fertilized egg stage. Here, we describe the generation of germline transgenic axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) using the I-SceI meganuclease and Tol2 transposase.

  2. Ambystoma maculatum (spotted salamander). Reproduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glorioso, Brad M.; Waddle, Hardin; Hefner, Jeromi

    2012-01-01

    The Spotted Salamander is a wide-ranging salamander of the eastern United States that typically breeds in winter or early spring in ephemeral pools in lowland forests. Ambystoma maculatum is known to deposit 2-4 egg masses per year, each containing 1-250 eggs. As part of ongoing research into the ecology and reproductive biology of Spotted Salamanders in the Kisatchie District of Kisatchie National Forest in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, USA, we have been counting the number of embryos per egg mass. We captured seven female A. maculatum in a small pool, six of which were still gravid. We took standard measurements, including SVL, and then implanted a Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT tag) into each adult female as was the protocol. About an hour after processing these animals we marked new A. maculatum egg masses found in the same small pool using PVC pin flags pushed carefully through the outer jelly. We did not have enough time to process them that evening, and it was not until a few days later that we photographed those masses. We discovered that one of the masses contained a PIT tag in the outer jelly that corresponded to one of the six gravid females that were marked that same evening. To our knowledge, this is the first report of PIT tags being the means, albeit coincidentally, by which a particular egg mass of Ambystoma maculatum has been assigned to a particular female. For our purposes, losing the PIT tag from the adult female is counter to the goals of our study of this population, and we will no longer be implanting PIT tags into gravid females.

  3. IMPACT OF GUTHION ON SURVIVAL AND GROWTH OF THE FROG PSEUDACRIS REGILLA AND THE SALAMANDERS AMBYSTOMA GRACILE AND AMBYSTOMA MACULATUM

    Science.gov (United States)

    The effects of the insecticides Guthion (technical grade) and Guthion 2S(commercial formulation) on survival and growth of tadpoles of the Pacific treefrog Pseudacris regilla, and larvae of the Northwestern salamander Ambystoma gracile and the spotted salamander Ambystoma macula...

  4. Final Critical Habitat for Reticulated Flatwoods Salamander (Ambystoma bishopi)

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — These data identify, in general, the areas of final critical habitat for the endangered Ambystoma bishopi (reticulated flatwoods salamander).

  5. Landmark learning by juvenile salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heuring, Whitney L; Mathis, Alicia

    2014-10-01

    Learning to use a landmark as a beacon to locate resources is one of the simplest forms of spatial learning. We tested whether landmark learning occurs in a semifossorial salamander that migrates annually to breeding ponds as adults. Juvenile spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) were tested in square containers with a plastic feeding dish in each corner, and a piece of earthworm was placed in one randomly-chosen dish. For landmark-trained salamanders, a rock was placed beside the dish containing the prey. For control salamanders, the rock was placed beside a randomly selected feeding dish. Each salamander was trained once every 2 days for 30 days. Significantly more landmark-trained salamanders than control salamanders entered the landmark area first, and landmark-trained individuals had faster latencies to enter the landmark area and longer stay-times. These results suggest that spotted salamanders are able to locate resources by associating their positions with landmarks.

  6. Cutaneous mastocytomas in the neotenic caudate amphibians Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl) and Ambystoma tigrinun (tiger salamander)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harshbarger, J.C.; Chang, S.C.; DeLanney, L.E.; Rose, F.L.; Green, D.E.

    1999-01-01

    Spontaneous mastocytomas studied in 18 axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) and six tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum) were gray-white, uni- to multilobular cutaneous protrusions from 2mm to 2cm in diameter. Tumors were moderately cellular unencapsulated masses that usually infiltrated the dermis and hypodermis with the destruction of intervening tissues. Some tumors were invading superficial bundles of the underlying skeletal muscle. Tumors consisted of mitotically active cells derived from a single lineage but showing a range of differentiation. Immature cells had nearly smooth to lightly cleft or folded basophilic nuclei bordered by a band of cytoplasm with few cytoplasmic processes and containing a few small uniform eccentric granules. Mature cells had basophilic nuclei with deep clefts or folds and abundant eosinophilic cytoplasm with multiple long intertwining cytoplasmic extensions packed with metachromatic granules. The axolotls were old individuals from an inbred laboratory colony. The tiger salamanders were wild animals from a single polluted pond. They could have been old and inbred. Both groups were neotenic. These are the first mastocytomas discovered in cold-blooded animals.

  7. Cutaneous mastocytomas in the neotenic caudate amphibians Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl) and Ambystoma tigrinum (tiger salamander).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harshbarger, J C; Chang, S C; DeLanney, L E; Rose, F L; Green, D E

    1999-01-01

    Spontaneous mastocytomas studied in 18 axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) and six tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum) were gray-white, uni- to multilobular cutaneous protrusions from 2 mm to 2 cm in diameter. Tumors were moderately cellular unencapsulated masses that usually infiltrated the dermis and hypodermis with the destruction of intervening tissues. Some tumors were invading superficial bundles of the underlying skeletal muscle. Tumors consisted of mitotically active cells derived from a single lineage but showing a range of differentiation. Immature cells had nearly smooth to lightly cleft or folded basophilic nuclei bordered by a band of cytoplasm with few cytoplasmic processes and containing a few small uniform eccentric granules. Mature cells had basophilic nuclei with deep clefts or folds and abundant eosinophilic cytoplasm with multiple long intertwining cytoplasmic extensions packed with metachromatic granules. The axolotls were old individuals from an inbred laboratory colony. The tiger salamanders were wild animals from a single polluted pond. They could have been old and inbred. Both groups were neotenic. These are the first mastocytomas discovered in cold-blooded animals.

  8. Resegmentation in the Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piekarski, Nadine; Olsson, Lennart

    2014-02-01

    The segmental series of somites in the vertebrate embryo gives rise to the axial skeleton. In amniote models, single vertebrae are derived from the sclerotome of two adjacent somites. This process, known as resegmentation, is well-studied using the quail-chick chimeric system, but the presumed generality of resegmentation across vertebrates remains poorly evaluated. Resegmentation has been questioned in anamniotes, given that the sclerotome is much smaller and lacks obvious differentiation between cranial and caudal portions. Here, we provide the first experimental evidence that resegmentation does occur in a species of amphibian. Fate mapping of individual somites in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) revealed that individual vertebrae receive cells from two adjacent somites as in the chicken. These findings suggest that large size and segmentation of the sclerotome into distinct cranial and caudal portions are not requirements for resegmentation. Our results, in addition to those for zebrafish, indicate that resegmentation is a general process in building the vertebral column in vertebrates, although it may be achieved in different ways in different groups.

  9. Thyroxine-induced metamorphosis in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coots, Peggy S; Seifert, Ashley W

    2015-01-01

    The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) has remained an important model for regeneration and developmental biology for over a century. Although axolotls in captive-bred colonies usually exist in an aquatic form, they retain the ability to undergo metamorphosis following exposure to thyroid hormone. Here we present a robust method for inducing metamorphosis in adult axolotls that results in high survivability and produces terrestrial animals that can be maintained in long-term captivity.

  10. Gene order data from a model amphibian (Ambystoma: new perspectives on vertebrate genome structure and evolution

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    Voss S Randal

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Because amphibians arise from a branch of the vertebrate evolutionary tree that is juxtaposed between fishes and amniotes, they provide important comparative perspective for reconstructing character changes that have occurred during vertebrate evolution. Here, we report the first comparative study of vertebrate genome structure that includes a representative amphibian. We used 491 transcribed sequences from a salamander (Ambystoma genetic map and whole genome assemblies for human, mouse, rat, dog, chicken, zebrafish, and the freshwater pufferfish Tetraodon nigroviridis to compare gene orders and rearrangement rates. Results Ambystoma has experienced a rate of genome rearrangement that is substantially lower than mammalian species but similar to that of chicken and fish. Overall, we found greater conservation of genome structure between Ambystoma and tetrapod vertebrates, nevertheless, 57% of Ambystoma-fish orthologs are found in conserved syntenies of four or more genes. Comparisons between Ambystoma and amniotes reveal extensive conservation of segmental homology for 57% of the presumptive Ambystoma-amniote orthologs. Conclusion Our analyses suggest relatively constant interchromosomal rearrangement rates from the euteleost ancestor to the origin of mammals and illustrate the utility of amphibian mapping data in establishing ancestral amniote and tetrapod gene orders. Comparisons between Ambystoma and amniotes reveal some of the key events that have structured the human genome since diversification of the ancestral amniote lineage.

  11. Profiling neurotransmitter receptor expression in the Ambystoma mexicanum brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes-Ruiz, Jorge Mauricio; Limon, Agenor; Korn, Matthew J; Nakamura, Paul A; Shirkey, Nicole J; Wong, Jamie K; Miledi, Ricardo

    2013-03-22

    Ability to regenerate limbs and central nervous system (CNS) is unique to few vertebrates, most notably the axolotl (Ambystoma sp.). However, despite the fact the neurotransmitter receptors are involved in axonal regeneration, little is known regarding its expression profile. In this project, RT-PCR and qPCR were performed to gain insight into the neurotransmitter receptors present in Ambystoma. Its functional ability was studied by expressing axolotl receptors in Xenopus laevis oocytes by either injection of mRNA or by direct microtransplantation of brain membranes. Oocytes injected with axolotl mRNA expressed ionotropic receptors activated by GABA, aspartate+glycine and kainate, as well as metabotropic receptors activated by acetylcholine and glutamate. Interestingly, we did not see responses following the application of serotonin. Membranes from the axolotl brain were efficiently microtransplanted into Xenopus oocytes and two types of native GABA receptors that differed in the temporal course of their responses and affinities to GABA were observed. Results of this study are necessary for further characterization of axolotl neurotransmitter receptors and may be useful for guiding experiments aimed at understanding activity-dependant limb and CNS regeneration.

  12. Pathological features of olfactory neuroblastoma in an axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shioda, Chieko; Uchida, Kazuyuki; Nakayama, Hiroyuki

    2011-08-01

    A one-year-old, female Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) had a rough-surfaced, polypoid, pink tumor mass of approximately 10 mm in diameter in the oral cavity. Histologically, the tumor extended from the ethmoturbinate region and into the oral cavity and had replaced some of the maxillary bone tissue. The tumor mass was composed of a lobular architecture of small round-shaped tumor cells with occasional Flexner-Wintersteiner-like rosette formation. There were no metastatic lesions in the other organs. Immunohistochemically, the tumor cells were partly positive for several neural markers (class III beta-tubulin, S-100 protein, and doublecortin) and intensely positive for an epithelial marker (cytokeratin AE1/AE3). These results suggest that the present tumor originated from neuroectodermal tissue. Considering the location and histological and immunohistochemical features of the tumor, a diagnosis of olfactory neuroblastoma was made.

  13. Histological image data of limb skeletal tissue from larval and adult Ambystoma mexicanum

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    Catherine D. McCusker

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The data presented in this article are related to the article entitled “Cartilage and bone cells do not participate in skeletal regeneration in Ambystoma mexicanum limbs” [1]. Here we present image data of the post-embryonic development of the forelimb skeletal tissue of Ambystoma Mexicanum. Histological staining was performed on sections from the intact limbs of young (6.5 cm and old (25 cm animals, and on dissected skeletal tissues (cartilage, bone, and periosteum from these animals.

  14. Housing and maintenance of Ambystoma mexicanum, the Mexican axolotl.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farkas, Johanna E; Monaghan, James R

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to assemble a significant amount of information on Ambystoma mexicanum, the axolotl salamander, to assist in the basic knowledge needed to raise, breed, and study most aspects of axolotl biology. It is important to understand the basic biology of the axolotl in order to make informed decisions on their proper care and use in experiments. Therefore, we will provide necessary information to the non-herpetologist that will assist in their study of this unique and fascinating animal. We also aim to provide a resource on the general anatomy, behavior, and experimental tips specific to the Mexican axolotl that will be of use to most axolotl laboratories. Axolotls have been actively researched since the 1860s, giving testament to their relatively straightforward maintenance and their versatility as an animal model for development and regeneration. Interest in using the axolotl in laboratory research has grown tremendously over the past decade, so dedicated resources to support the study of this species are needed and encouraged.

  15. Genetic mapping in the Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, J B

    1984-02-01

    In the Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, gynogenetic diploids can be produced by suppressing the release of the second polar body in eggs activated with irradiated sperm. If the female is heterozygous for a particular mutation, some of the progeny will be homozygous for the mutation. The proportion depends on the distance from the centromere and can be used to determine the gene--centromere (or gene-kinetochore) distance. The mapping function is based on the Neurospora tetrad mapping function. Several variations on this function, based on considerations of how coincidence varies with map distance, are considered. Three genes have been mapped: c at 5.9, t at 24.3, and m at 59.1 map units from their respective centromeres. Four other genes (a, ax, p, and the sex locus) appear to be distant from their centromeres but precise map distances cannot be determined. Based on these data, the total length of the genome has been estimated as at least 2600 map units.

  16. Changes of the lingual epithelium in Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wistuba, J; Clemen, G

    1998-12-01

    Changes in the lingual epithelium during ontogenesis and after induced metamorphosis in Ambystoma mexicanum are described as observed by light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The epithelium of the tongue is always multilayered in the larva as well as in the adult. It consists of a stratum germinativum with little differentiated basal cells and a stratum superficiale (superficial layer) with specialized superficial cells and goblet cells. Usually, there are more than two layers because of a stratum intermedium consisting of replacement cells. The apical cell membrane of the superficial cells is perforated by fine pores. Its most typical feature are microridges. Maturing superficial cells possess microvilli. Goblet cells occur in early larvae primarily in the centre of the tongue. They spread throughout the dorsal face of the tongue as their numbers increase during ontogenesis. The small apices of the goblet cells are intercalated in the wedges between the superficial cells. Leydig cells are not found on the larval tongue but on that of adults. Due to metamorphosis, the epithelium of the tongue changes. It is furrowed in its anterior part. The furrows house the openings of the lingual glands. The surface is further modulated by ridges which are densely coated by microvilli and which bear the taste buds. The villi of the tongue which lack extrusion pores show cilia and microvilli but lack microridges. The Leydig cells disappear during metamorphosis. In addition to the two types of goblet cells found in different regions of the glandular tubules, goblet cells occur in the caudal part. They secrete directly into the cavity of the mouth. The posterior part is characterised by a dense coat of cilia.

  17. Reproductive biology of Ambystoma salamanders in the southeastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glorioso, Brad M.; Waddle, J. Hardin; Hefner, Jeromi M.

    2015-01-01

    Reproductive aspects of Ambystoma salamanders were investigated at sites in Louisiana (2010–12) and Mississippi (2013). Three species occurred at the Louisiana site, Spotted Salamander (A. maculatum), Marbled Salamander (A. opacum), and Mole Salamander (A. talpoideum), whereas only Spotted Salamanders were studied at the Mississippi site. A total of 162 and 71 egg masses of Spotted Salamanders were examined at the Louisiana and Mississippi sites, respectively. Significantly more Spotted Salamander eggs per egg mass were observed at the Mississippi site (x̄ = 78.2) than the Louisiana site (x̄ = 53.8; P Salamanders at the Mississippi site (82.9 mm) was significantly larger than the Louisiana site (76.1 mm; P Salamander egg masses were not found at the Mississippi site, but accounted for 11% of examined egg masses at the Louisiana site. The mean number of eggs per egg mass at the Louisiana site did not differ between opaque (47.3) and clear (54.6) egg masses (P = 0.21). A total of 47 egg masses of the Mole Salamander were examined, with a mean number of 6.7 embryos per mass. Twenty-three individual nests of the Marbled Salamander were found either under or in decaying logs in the dry pond basins. There was no difference between the mean numbers of eggs per mass of attended nests (93.0) versus those that were discovered unattended (86.6; P = 0.67). Females tended to place their nests at intermediate heights within the pond basin.

  18. Immunocytochemical localization and immunochemical characterization of an insulin-related peptide in the pancreas of the urodele amphibian, Ambystoma mexicanum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, G N; Hansen, B L; Jørgensen, P N

    1989-01-01

    The pancreas of the axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, was investigated by immunocytochemical methods for the presence of immunoreactivity to a number of antisera raised against mammalian insulins. All anti-insulin antisera tested revealed substantial amounts of reaction products confined solely...

  19. Studies on heart development in normal and cardiac mutant axolotls, Ambystoma Mexicanum, using cellular and molecular biology

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    @@ The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) provides and excellent model for studying heart development since it carries a simple recessive cardiac lethal mutation that results in a failure of mutant embryonic myocardium to contract.

  20. Developmental dynamics of Ambystoma tigrinum in a changing landscape

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    McMenamin Sarah K

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Loss of pond habitat is catastrophic to aquatic larval amphibians, but even reduction in the amount of time a breeding site holds water (hydroperiod can influence amphibian development and limit reproductive success. Using the landscape variation of a glacial valley in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem as the context for a natural experiment, we examined variation in growth pattern and life history of the salamander Ambystoma tigrinum melanostictum and determined how these developmental characteristics varied with hydroperiod over several summers. Results In ponds that dried early in the season, maximum larval size was reduced relative to the sizes achieved in permanent ponds. Ephemeral ponds were associated with early metamorphosis at small body sizes, while permanent ponds facilitated longer larval periods and later metamorphosis. Paedomorphosis resulted from indefinite metamorphic postponement, and was identified only in the most permanent environments. Patterns of growth and allometry were similar between ponds with different hydroperiods, but considerable life history variation was derived from modulating the timing of and size at metamorphosis. Considering maximum rates of growth and inferring the minimum size at metamorphosis across 25 ponds over the course of three years, we calculated that hydroperiods longer than three months are necessary to support these populations through metamorphosis and/or reproductive maturity. Conclusions Landscape heterogeneity fosters life history variation in this natural population. Modulation of the complex ambystomatid life cycle allows this species to survive in unpredictable environments, but current trends towards rapid pond drying will promote metamorphosis at smaller sizes and could eliminate the paedomorphic phenotype from this region. Metamorphosis at small size is has been linked to altered fitness traits, including reduced survival and fecundity. Thus, widespread

  1. Evidence for balancing selection at the DAB locus in the axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richman, A D; Herrera, G; Reynoso, V H; Méndez, G; Zambrano, L

    2007-12-01

    The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) has been characterized as immunodeficient, and the absence of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II polymorphism has been cited as a possible explanation. Here we present evidence for considerable allelic polymorphism at the MHC class II DAB locus for a sample of wild-caught axolotls. Evidence that these sequences are the product of balancing selection for disease resistance is discussed.

  2. Northwestern salamanders Ambystoma gracile in mountain lakes: record oviposition depths among salamanders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, R.; Pearl, C.A.; Larson, G.L.; Samora, B.

    2012-01-01

    Oviposition timing, behaviors, and microhabitats of ambystomatid salamanders vary considerably (Egan and Paton 2004; Figiel and Semlitsch 1995; Howard and Wallace 1985; Mac-Cracken 2007). Regardless of species, however, females typically oviposit using sites conducive to embryo development and survival. For example, the results of an experiment by Figiel and Semlitsch (1995) on Ambystoma opacum (Marbled Salamander) oviposition indicated that females actively selected sites that were under grass clumps in wet versus dry treatments, and surmised that environmental conditions such as humidity, moisture, and temperature contributed to their results. Other factors associated with ambystomatid oviposition and embryo survival include water temperature (Anderson 1972; Brown 1976), dissolved oxygen concentration (Petranka et al. 1982; Sacerdote and King 2009), oviposition depth (Dougherty et al. 2005; Egan and Paton 2004), and oviposition attachment structures such as woody vegetation (McCracken 2007; Nussbaum et al. 1983). Resetarits (1996), in creating a model of oviposition site selection for anuran amphibians, hypothesized that oviparous organisms were also capable of modifying oviposition behavior and site selection to accommodate varying habitat conditions and to minimize potential negative effects of environmental stressors. Kats and Sih (1992), investigating the oviposition of Ambystoma barbouri (Streamside Salamander) in pools of a Kentucky stream, found that females preferred pools without predatory Lepomis cyanellus (Green Sunfish), and that the number of egg masses present in a pool historically containing fish increased significantly the year after fish had been extirpated from the pool. Palen et al. (2005) determined that Ambystoma gracile (Northwestern Salamander) and Ambystoma macrodactylum (Longtoed Salamander) eggs were deposited either at increased depth or in full shaded habitats, respectively, as water transperancy to UV-B radiation increased.

  3. Characterization of the yellow pigment in the axanthic mutant of the Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bukowski, L; Erickson, K; Lyerla, T A

    1990-09-01

    The yellow pigment observed in older axanthic (ax/ax) mutant Mexican axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) was analyzed by thin layer chromatography and by spectrofluorometry of its acetyl derivative. Ethanol extracts from the skin of axanthic animals were acetylated and the chloroform-soluble portion of the product mixture was compared with a chloroform solution of an authentic riboflavin tetraacetate standard prepared in the same manner. The pigment in these two solutions behaved identically on thin layer chromatograms and in fluorescent emission spectroscopy. This confirms that the yellow pigment seen in these genetically axanthic animals is riboflavin and, since it cannot be synthesized by the animal, must be derived from the diet.

  4. Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone induces thyroxine release together with testosterone in the neotenic axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum.

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    Jacobs, G F; Kühn, E R

    1988-09-01

    In male neotenic axolotls Ambystoma mexicanum plasma concentrations of thyroxine (T4) and testosterone were increased following intravenous injection of 10 micrograms luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone. A dose of 50 micrograms influenced only plasma T4 levels. This observation suggests for the first time that a hypothalamic hormone is capable of stimulating the thyroidal axis in the neotenic axolotl.

  5. Temporal response of the tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum to 3,000 years of climatic variation

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    Long Webb

    2005-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Amphibians are sensitive indicators of environmental conditions and show measurable responses, such as changes in phenology, abundance and range limits to local changes in precipitation and temperature regimes. Amphibians offer unique opportunities to study the important ecological and evolutionary implications of responses in life history characteristics to climatic change. We analyzed a late-Holocene fossil record of the Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum for evidence of population-level changes in body size and paedomorphosis to climatic change over the last 3000 years. Results We found a significant difference in body size index between paedomorphic and metamorphic individuals during the time interval dominated by the Medieval Warm Period. There is a consistent ratio of paedomorphic to metamorphic specimens through the entire 3000 years, demonstrating that not all life history characteristics of the population were significantly altered by changes in climate on this timescale. Conclusion The fossil record of Ambystoma tigrinum we used spans an ecologically relevant timescale appropriate for understanding population and community response to projected climatic change. The population-level responses we documented are concordant with expectations based on modern environmental studies, and yield insight into population-level patterns across hundreds of generations, especially the independence of different life history characteristics. These conclusions lead us to offer general predictions about the future response of this species based on likely scenarios of climatic warming in the Rocky Mountain region.

  6. The Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum: Factors That Limit its Production and Alternatives for its Conservation

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    J. Toca-Ramirez

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Ambystoma mexicanum is an amphibian endemic to Xochimilco Lake in Mexico City. It has been declared in danger of extinction and is under special protection. Some chemical contaminants in the water are extremely high and could be the cause of its high mortality rate in certain areas of Xochimilco. In order to preserve this species it will not only be necessary and fundamental to prohibit fishing axolotls in their natural state, a market study and nutritional chemical analysis will also be necessary in order to establish the organoleptic properties and level of acceptance before a taste panel; that is to say, get to know more about the specie in order to give the product added value offering its meat as an unconventional delicacy. This way the creation of farms that will help its conservation will be justified. On the other hand it is important to mention that the axolotls are very important in scientific research. Since it serves as an amphibious model for many physiological and morphological processes that explain the regenerative process that this species possess. The objective of this study is to emphasize the advantages that the Ambystoma mexicanum has with the intention to rationally exploit these attributes in order to achieve its conservation.

  7. Probability of Regenerating a Normal Limb After Bite Injury in the Mexican Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

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    Thompson, Sierra; Muzinic, Laura; Muzinic, Christopher; Niemiller, Matthew L; Voss, S Randal

    2014-06-01

    Multiple factors are thought to cause limb abnormalities in amphibian populations by altering processes of limb development and regeneration. We examined adult and juvenile axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) in the Ambystoma Genetic Stock Center (AGSC) for limb and digit abnormalities to investigate the probability of normal regeneration after bite injury. We observed that 80% of larval salamanders show evidence of bite injury at the time of transition from group housing to solitary housing. Among 717 adult axolotls that were surveyed, which included solitary-housed males and group-housed females, approximately half presented abnormalities, including examples of extra or missing digits and limbs, fused digits, and digits growing from atypical anatomical positions. Bite injury likely explains these limb defects, and not abnormal development, because limbs with normal anatomy regenerated after performing rostral amputations. We infer that only 43% of AGSC larvae will present four anatomically normal looking adult limbs after incurring a bite injury. Our results show regeneration of normal limb anatomy to be less than perfect after bite injury.

  8. Maintenance media for the axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum juveniles (Amphibia: Caudata Soluciones de mantenimiento de juveniles del ajolote Ambystoma mexicanum (Amphibia: Caudata

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    Cecilia Robles Mendoza

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Physiological condition and organisms' health which are grown in culture systems depends on several factors including water quality, feeding and density among others. In Mexico, the colonies of the axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum (Shaw, an indigenous amphibian under extinction risk, are maintained under different culture conditions according to the objectives of the colony and the available resources. Particularly, water electrolytic characteristic and ionic and osmotic conditions are the factors with greater variation in the axolotl culture systems. Therefore, it is necessary to standardize the best maintenance conditions to store the germoplasm of the axolotl and to ensure healthy organisms with researching purposes. Thus, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the development and growth of Ambystoma mexicanum larvae reared under different maintenance media, usually used in Mexico for the culture of the species: 1 dechlorinated tap water; 2 dechlorinated tap water enriched with sodium chloride and commercial colloidal solution and 3 Holtfreter's solution reconstructed with dechlorinated tap water. In each experimental condition, 15 larvae on stage 44 (immediately after hatching were maintained during 21 days and development and growth were weekly recorded. Ionic and osmotic conditions of the external media were routinely registered. The obtained results suggested a better physiological condition of the axolotls maintained on Holtfreter's solution, where the highest growth rate (13 g WW d-1 and the greatest condition factor (0.79 were registered. The use of this solution is recommended due it guarantees the suitable development of early stages of A. mexicanum on culture systems.La condición fisiológica y por lo tanto la salud de los organismos acuáticos depende de varios factores como la calidad del agua de mantenimiento, la alimentación, la densidad, entre otros. En México, las colonias del ajolote Ambystoma mexicanum (Shaw, anfibio end

  9. Identification of essential and non-essential genes in Ambystoma tigrinum virus.

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    Aron, Mariah M; Allen, Alexander G; Kromer, Mathew; Galvez, Hector; Vigil, Brianna; Jancovich, James K

    2016-06-01

    Members of the genus Ranavirus (family Iridoviridae) are large double-stranded (ds) DNA viruses that are found world-wide infecting fish, amphibian and reptile ectothermic hosts. Ranavirus genomes range from 105 to 155kbp in length and they are predicted to encode around 90-125 genes. Currently, our knowledge of the function of ∼50% of these genes is known or inferred based on homology to orthologous genes characterized in other systems; however, the function of the remaining open reading frames (ORFS) is unknown. Therefore, in order to begin to uncover the function of unknown ORFs in ranaviruses we developed a standardized approach to generate a recombination cassette for any ORF in Ambystoma tigrinum virus (ATV). Our standardized approach quickly and efficiently assembles recombination cassettes and recombinant ATV. We have used this approach to identify two essential, one semi-essential and two non-essential genes in ATV.

  10. Distribution of the Sonora Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium stebbinsi) in Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossack, Blake R.; Muths, Erin L.; Rorabaugh, James C.; Lemos Espinal, Julio A.; Sigafus, Brent H.; Chambert, Thierry A; Carreon Arroyo, Gerardo; Hurtado Felix, David; Toyos Martinez, Daniel; Jones, Thomas R

    2016-01-01

    The Sonoran Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium stebbinsi Lowe, 1954) was listed as federally endangered in the USA in 1997 (USFWS 1997). In the USA, the distribution of A. mavortium stebbinsi is limited to the San Rafael Valley (approximately 567 km2), between the Sierra San Antonio (called the Patagonia Mountains in Arizona) and Huachuca Mountains, and south of the Canelo Hills, Arizona (Fig. 1). The USA listing was triggered by loss of natural wetland habitats, threats from invasive predators, frequent die-offs from disease, introgression with the introduced Barred Tiger Salamander (A. mavortium mavortium), and small range and number of breeding sites that increases susceptibility to stochastic events (USFWS 1997). Small population sizes and limited gene flow have caused inbreeding, which may further reduce population viability and the potential for recovery (Jones et al. 1988; Storfer et al. 2014). 

  11. Misexpression experiment of Tbx5 in axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) hindlimb blastema.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimokawa, Takashi; Kominami, Rieko; Yasutaka, Satoru; Shinohara, Harumichi

    2013-01-01

    Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) have the ability to regenerate amputated limbs throughout their life span. In the present study, we attempted to elucidate how axolotls can specify limb type correctly during the regeneration process. We misexpressed Tbx5 in regenerating hindlimb blastema, and consequently a forelimb-like hindlimb regenerated from the hindlimb blastema. On the other hand, no change was observed in Tbx5-overexpressing forelimb blastema, and thus we considered that Tbx5 plays a key role in the specification of forelimb during the regeneration process of axolotl limbs. However, axolotls' fore- and hindlimbs have very similar structures except for the number of fingers, and it was very difficult to judge whether the forelimb-like regenerate was a true forelimb or merely a forelimb-like hindlimb. Therefore, in order to confirm our conclusion, we have to investigate other genes that are expressed differentially between fore- and hindlimbs in future experiments.

  12. Changes in brain gangliosides of the neotene and metamorphic (thyroxine-induced) newt axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilbig, R; Schmitt, M; Rahmann, H

    1987-01-01

    Qualitative and quantitative changes in the concentration of proteins, sialoglycoproteins and gangliosides and in the composition of gangliosides in the brains of the neotene and the thyroxine-induced metamorphic newt axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) were investigated. During metamorphosis two polar gangliosides (GT1b and GQ1b) decreased by about 5% each. On the contrary GD1a increased to 10%. Another developmental trend was a slight increase of two other disialogangliosides (GD1b, GD2). Additionally, incorporation profiles (2-8 days) of 14C-N-Ac-mannosamine, the specific precursor for gangliosides, in the brain of neotene and metamorphic axolotls were followed giving evidence of significant changes in the sialoglycoconjugate metabolism of the central nervous system during metamorphosis of this newt.

  13. Dominant lethal induction by ethyl methanesulfonate in the male axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, J B; Gillespie, L L

    1980-06-01

    When male axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) were treated with ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS) and mated at regular intervals thereafter, the incidence of embryonic abnormalities among the F1 progeny increased until a time was reached when none survived to hatching. At 100 mg/1 EMS, this point was reached about 130 days after treatment. Thereafter, the frequency of abnormalities gradually decreased to control levels. At higher concentrations, abnormalities were seen in spawnings obtained sooner after treatment, and also at earlier development stages. The pattern is similar to that reported for the mouse, which has been attributed to differential sensitivity of the various germ-cell stages to the mutagenic agent. The time course, however, is greatly extended in the axolotl. In future experiments we will be looking for gene mutations, primarily before and after the period of peak mortality.

  14. Effect of water quality on the feeding ecology of axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego de Jesus Chaparro-Herrera

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Ambystoma mexicanum, a highly endangered species, is endemic to lake Xochimilco (Mexico City, Mexico which currently is being negatively affected by the introduction of Oreochromis niloticus (Tilapia and water pollution. During the first weeks of development, when mortality is the highest, Ambystoma mexicanumdepends on a diet of zooplankton. The aim of this study was to check whether contamination levels in lake Xochimilco influence zooplankton consumption by similar size classes of A. mexicanum and Oreochromis niloticus. In this study, we analysed changes in the functional responses and prey preference of A. mexicanum and larval Tilapia in two media, one with filtered lake Xochimilco water and another one with reconstituted water. As prey we used cladocerans (Moina macrocopa, Alona glabra, Macrothrix triserialis and Simocephalus vetulus and ostracods (Heterocypris incongruens. Zooplankton was offered in 5 different densities, 10, 20, 40, 80, 160 ind./mL. Prey consumption by A. mexicanum varied in relation to the species offered and age of the larvae. From the first week to the eighth week prey consumption by A. mexicanum increased by 57%. Our functional response tests showed that regardless of the prey type, prey consumption by A. mexicanum was lower in the contaminated water from lake Xochimilco. Among the zooplankton offered in the contaminated environment predators preferred smaller and slower moving microcrustaceans such as Alona glabra and Heterocypris incongruens. Furthermore, O. niloticus preferred prey such as Moina macrocopa and Macrothrix triserialis in the contaminated medium and was more voracious than the axolotl. Our results indicate that both water quality of the lake and the presence of the more resistant exotic fish adversely impact the survival of this endangered amphibian.

  15. Ultrastructure of the renal juxtaglomerular complex and peripolar cells in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) and toad (Bufo marinus).

    OpenAIRE

    Hanner, R H; Ryan, G B

    1980-01-01

    Renal juxtaglomerular regions were examined in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum and toad (Bufo marinus). Prominent granulated peripolar epithelial cells were found surrounding the origin of the glomerular tuft in the axolotl. These cells resembled the peripolar cells recently discovered in mammalian species. They contained multiple electron-dense cytoplasmic granules, some of which showed a paracrystalline substructure and signs of exocytoxic activity. Such cells were difficult to find and sm...

  16. Fine structure of the epidermal Leydig cells in the axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum in relation to their function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarial, M S

    1989-12-01

    The fine structure of the Leydig cells in the epidermis of the strictly aquatic adult axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum resembles that of similar cells in larval salamanders. The major finding of this study is that the mucous secretion of the Leydig cells is released into the intercellular spaces from which it is discharged through pores onto the surface of the epidermis where it forms a mucous layer to protect the skin.

  17. A comprehensive expressed sequence tag linkage map for tiger salamander and Mexican axolotl: enabling gene mapping and comparative genomics in Ambystoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, J J; Kump, D K; Walker, J A; Parichy, D M; Voss, S R

    2005-11-01

    Expressed sequence tag (EST) markers were developed for Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum (Eastern tiger salamander) and for A. mexicanum (Mexican axolotl) to generate the first comprehensive linkage map for these model amphibians. We identified 14 large linkage groups (125.5-836.7 cM) that presumably correspond to the 14 haploid chromosomes in the Ambystoma genome. The extent of genome coverage for these linkage groups is apparently high because the total map size (5251 cM) falls within the range of theoretical estimates and is consistent with independent empirical estimates. Unlike most vertebrate species, linkage map size in Ambystoma is not strongly correlated with chromosome arm number. Presumably, the large physical genome size ( approximately 30 Gbp) is a major determinant of map size in Ambystoma. To demonstrate the utility of this resource, we mapped the position of two historically significant A. mexicanum mutants, white and melanoid, and also met, a quantitative trait locus (QTL) that contributes to variation in metamorphic timing. This new collection of EST-based PCR markers will better enable the Ambystoma system by facilitating development of new molecular probes, and the linkage map will allow comparative studies of this important vertebrate group.

  18. Evaluation of the anesthetic effects of MS222 in the adult Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zullian C

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Chiara Zullian,1 Aurore Dodelet-Devillers,1 Stéphane Roy,2 Pascal Vachon1 1Département de Biomédecine Vétérinaire, Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire, Université de Montréal, Saint-Hyacinthe, 2Département de Stomatologie, Faculté de Médecine Dentaire, Montréal, Québec, Canada Abstract: The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum is a unique research model in several fields of medicine, where surgical and invasive procedures may be required. As yet, little is known about the efficacy of MS222 (tricaine methanesulfonate, which is the most commonly used anesthetic agent in amphibians. The main objectives of this study were to evaluate the anesthetic effects and physiological changes in adult axolotls following a 20-minute immersion bath, containing progressive MS222 concentrations starting at 0.1%. Depth of anesthesia and physiological changes were evaluated every 15 minutes post-MS222 exposure with the following parameters: righting behavior, withdrawal reflex, acetic acid test response, heart rate, and blood oxygen saturation, as well as cloacal and body surface temperatures. A 20-minute exposure in a 0.1% MS222 immersion bath (n=6 animals had no anesthetic effects on adult axolotls after 20 minutes of exposure. With a 0.2% MS222 solution, all axolotls (n=9 were deeply anesthetized at 15 minutes, and 80% were still unresponsive at 30 minutes postexposure. Blood oxygen saturation and heart rate were slightly, but significantly, increased when compared with the baseline value and remained stable up to recovery. There was no significant increase in surface and cloaca temperatures, compared with baseline. With the 0.4% MS222 solution, the duration of anesthesia lasted for 90 minutes to at least 120 minutes (n=3 animals and this concentration was deemed too high. In conclusion, a 20-minute immersion bath with 0.2% MS222 may be used for short procedures (15–30 minutes requiring anesthesia of adult axolotls. Keywords: Ambystoma mexicanum

  19. Optimized axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) husbandry, breeding, metamorphosis, transgenesis and tamoxifen-mediated recombination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khattak, Shahryar; Murawala, Prayag; Andreas, Heino; Kappert, Verena; Schuez, Maritta; Sandoval-Guzmán, Tatiana; Crawford, Karen; Tanaka, Elly M

    2014-03-01

    The axolotl (Mexican salamander, Ambystoma mexicanum) has become a very useful model organism for studying limb and spinal cord regeneration because of its high regenerative capacity. Here we present a protocol for successfully mating and breeding axolotls in the laboratory throughout the year, for metamorphosing axolotls by a single i.p. injection and for axolotl transgenesis using I-SceI meganuclease and the mini Tol2 transposon system. Tol2-mediated transgenesis provides different features and advantages compared with I-SceI-mediated transgenesis, and it can result in more than 30% of animals expressing the transgene throughout their bodies so that they can be directly used for experimentation. By using Tol2-mediated transgenesis, experiments can be performed within weeks (e.g., 5-6 weeks for obtaining 2-3-cm-long larvae) without the need to establish germline transgenic lines (which take 12-18 months). In addition, we describe here tamoxifen-induced Cre-mediated recombination in transgenic axolotls.

  20. Discrimination of conspecific sex and reproductive condition using chemical cues in axolotls ( Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, D; McGuire, J M; Majchrzak, A L; Ziobro, J M; Eisthen, H L

    2004-05-01

    Chemosensory cues play an important role in the daily lives of salamanders, mediating foraging, conspecific recognition, and territorial advertising. We investigated the behavioral effects of conspecific whole-body odorants in axolotls, Ambystoma mexicanum, a salamander species that is fully aquatic. We found that males increased general activity when exposed to female odorants, but that activity levels in females were not affected by conspecific odorants. Although males showed no difference in courtship displays across testing conditions, females performed courtship displays only in response to male odorants. We also found that electro-olfactogram responses from the olfactory and vomeronasal epithelia were larger in response to whole-body odorants from the opposite sex than from the same sex. In males, odorants from gravid and recently spawned females evoked different electro-olfactogram responses at some locations in the olfactory and vomeronasal epithelia; in general, however, few consistent differences between the olfactory and vomeronasal epithelia were observed. Finally, post hoc analyses indicate that experience with opposite-sex conspecifics affects some behavioral and electrophysiological responses. Overall, our data indicate that chemical cues from conspecifics affect general activity and courtship behavior in axolotls, and that both the olfactory and vomeronasal systems may be involved in discriminating the sex and reproductive condition of conspecifics.

  1. Proteinaceous Pheromone Homologs Identified from the Cloacal Gland Transcriptome of a Male Axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin W Hall

    Full Text Available Pheromones play an important role in modifying vertebrate behavior, especially during courtship and mating. Courtship behavior in urodele amphibians often includes female exposure to secretions from the cloacal gland, as well as other scent glands. The first vertebrate proteinaceous pheromone discovered, the decapeptide sodefrin, is a female attracting pheromone secreted by the cloacal gland of male Cynops pyrrhogaster. Other proteinaceous pheromones in salamanders have been shown to elicit responses from females towards conspecific males. The presence and levels of expression of proteinaceous pheromones have not been identified in the family Ambystomatidae, which includes several important research models. The objective of this research was therefore to identify putative proteinaceous pheromones from male axolotls, Ambystoma mexicanum, as well as their relative expression levels. The results indicate that axolotls possess two different forms of sodefrin precursor-like factor (alpha and beta, as well as a putative ortholog of plethodontid modulating factor. The beta form of sodefrin precursor-like factor was amongst the most highly expressed transcripts within the cloacal gland. The ortholog of plethodontid modulating factor was expressed at a level equivalent to the beta sodefrin precursor-like factor. The results are from a single male axolotl; therefore, we are unable to assess how representative our results may be. Nevertheless, the presence of these highly expressed proteinaceous pheromones suggests that male axolotls use multiple chemical cues to attract female conspecifics. Behavioral assays would indicate whether the putative protein pheromones elicit courtship activity from female axolotls.

  2. Proteinaceous Pheromone Homologs Identified from the Cloacal Gland Transcriptome of a Male Axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Kevin W; Eisthen, Heather L; Williams, Barry L

    2016-01-01

    Pheromones play an important role in modifying vertebrate behavior, especially during courtship and mating. Courtship behavior in urodele amphibians often includes female exposure to secretions from the cloacal gland, as well as other scent glands. The first vertebrate proteinaceous pheromone discovered, the decapeptide sodefrin, is a female attracting pheromone secreted by the cloacal gland of male Cynops pyrrhogaster. Other proteinaceous pheromones in salamanders have been shown to elicit responses from females towards conspecific males. The presence and levels of expression of proteinaceous pheromones have not been identified in the family Ambystomatidae, which includes several important research models. The objective of this research was therefore to identify putative proteinaceous pheromones from male axolotls, Ambystoma mexicanum, as well as their relative expression levels. The results indicate that axolotls possess two different forms of sodefrin precursor-like factor (alpha and beta), as well as a putative ortholog of plethodontid modulating factor. The beta form of sodefrin precursor-like factor was amongst the most highly expressed transcripts within the cloacal gland. The ortholog of plethodontid modulating factor was expressed at a level equivalent to the beta sodefrin precursor-like factor. The results are from a single male axolotl; therefore, we are unable to assess how representative our results may be. Nevertheless, the presence of these highly expressed proteinaceous pheromones suggests that male axolotls use multiple chemical cues to attract female conspecifics. Behavioral assays would indicate whether the putative protein pheromones elicit courtship activity from female axolotls.

  3. Linking vertebral number to performance of aquatic escape responses in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerly, Kerri L; Ward, Andrea B

    2015-12-01

    Environmental conditions during early development in ectothermic vertebrates can lead to variation in vertebral number among individuals of the same species. It is often seen that individuals of a species raised at cooler temperatures have more vertebrae than individuals raised at warmer temperatures, although the functional consequences of this variation in vertebral number on swimming performance are relatively unclear. To investigate this relationship, we tested how vertebral number in axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) affected performance of aquatic escape responses (C-starts). Axolotls were reared at four temperatures (12-24°C) encompassing their natural thermal range and then transitioned to a mean temperature (18°C) three months before C-starts were recorded. Our results showed variation in vertebral number, but that variation was not significantly affected by developmental temperature. C-start performance among axolotls was significantly correlated with caudal vertebral number, and individuals with more caudal vertebrae were able to achieve greater curvature more quickly during their responses than individuals with fewer vertebrae. However, our results show that these individuals did not achieve greater displacements or velocities, and that developmental temperature did not have any effect on C-start performance. We highlight that the most important aspects of escape swim performance (i.e., how far individuals get from a threat and how quickly they move the most important parts of the body away from that threat) are consistent across individuals regardless of developmental temperature and morphological variation.

  4. Ultrastructure of the external gill epithelium of the axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum with reference to ionic transport.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarial, M S; Wilkins, J H

    2003-10-01

    The ultrastructure of the external gill epithelium of the axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, has been examined using conventional transmission electron microscopy to elucidate its role in ionic transport. Four cell types are identified in the gill filament and primary gill bar epithelium. These are granular, ciliated, Leydig and basal cells. A fifth cell type, the flat mitochondria-rich cell is only found in the gill bar epithelium. The predominant granular cells display microvilli at their surface and their cytoplasm contains abundant mitochondria, rough endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi complexes, vesicles and PAS+ secretory granules that are extruded at the surface, which along with secretions from the Leydig cells form a mucous coat. The granular cells are joined apically by junctional complexes consisting of zonulae occludens, zonulae adherens and desmosomes. The lateral membranes of granular cells enclose large intercellular spaces that are closed at the apical ends but remain open at the basal ends adjoining capillaries. In AgNO3-treated axolotl, the gills become darkly stained, the silver grains penetrate apical membranes and appear in the cytoplasm, accumulating near the lateral membranes and also enter the intercellular spaces. These findings are consistent with the dual role of the gill epithelium in mucus production and active ionic transport.

  5. Electron microscopy of the amphibian model systems Xenopus laevis and Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurth, Thomas; Berger, Jürgen; Wilsch-Bräuninger, Michaela; Kretschmar, Susanne; Cerny, Robert; Schwarz, Heinz; Löfberg, Jan; Piendl, Thomas; Epperlein, Hans H

    2010-01-01

    In this chapter we provide a set of different protocols for the ultrastructural analysis of amphibian (Xenopus, axolotl) tissues, mostly of embryonic origin. For Xenopus these methods include: (1) embedding gastrulae and tailbud embryos into Spurr's resin for TEM, (2) post-embedding labeling of methacrylate (K4M) and cryosections through adult and embryonic epithelia for correlative LM and TEM, and (3) pre-embedding labeling of embryonic tissues with silver-enhanced nanogold. For the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) we present the following methods: (1) SEM of migrating neural crest (NC) cells; (2) SEM and TEM of extracellular matrix (ECM) material; (3) Cryo-SEM of extracellular matrix (ECM) material after cryoimmobilization; and (4) TEM analysis of hyaluronan using high-pressure freezing and HABP labeling. These methods provide exemplary approaches for a variety of questions in the field of amphibian development and regeneration, and focus on cell biological issues that can only be answered with fine structural imaging methods, such as electron microscopy.

  6. Ex vivo generation of a functional and regenerative wound epithelium from axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) skin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferris, Donald R; Satoh, Akira; Mandefro, Berhan; Cummings, Gillian M; Gardiner, David M; Rugg, Elizabeth L

    2010-10-01

    Urodele amphibians (salamanders) are unique among adult vertebrates in their ability to regenerate structurally complete and fully functional limbs. Regeneration is a stepwise process that requires interactions between keratinocytes, nerves and fibroblasts. The formation of a wound epithelium covering the amputation site is an early and necessary event in the process but the molecular mechanisms that underlie the role of the wound epithelium in regeneration remain unclear. We have developed an ex vivo model that recapitulates many features of in vivo wound healing. The model comprises a circular explant of axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) limb skin with a central circular, full thickness wound. Re-epithelialization of the wound area is rapid (typically <11 h) and is dependent on metalloproteinase activity. The ex vivo wound epithelium is viable, responds to neuronal signals and is able to participate in ectopic blastema formation and limb regeneration. This ex vivo model provides a reproducible and tractable system in which to study the cellular and molecular events that underlie wound healing and regeneration.

  7. Patterns of spatial and temporal visceral arch muscle development in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ericsson, Rolf; Olsson, Lennart

    2004-08-01

    Vertebrate head development is a classical topic that has received renewed attention during the last decade. Most reports use one of a few model organisms (chicken, mouse, zebrafish) and have focused on molecular mechanisms and the role of the neural crest, while cranial muscle development has received less attention. Here we describe cranial muscle differentiation and morphogenesis in the Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum. To determine the onset of differentiation we use antibodies against desmin and optical sectioning using confocal laser scanning microscopy on whole-mount immunostained embryos. This technique makes it possible to document the cranial muscle in three dimensions while keeping the specimens intact. Desmin expression starts almost simultaneously in the first, second, and third visceral arch muscles (as in other amphibians studied). Muscle anlagen divide up early into the different elements which constitute the larval cranial musculature. We extend and refine earlier findings, e.g., by documenting a clear division between interhyoideus and interhyoideus posterior. The timing of cranial muscle differentiation differs among vertebrate groups, but seems to be constant within each group. This study provides a morphological foundation for further studies of muscle cell fate and early differentiation.

  8. Organophosphorus pesticides effect on early stages of the axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum (Amphibia: Caudata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robles-Mendoza, C; García-Basilio, C; Cram-Heydrich, S; Hernández-Quiroz, M; Vanegas-Pérez, C

    2009-02-01

    Ambystoma mexicanum is an endemic salamander of Xochimilco, a wetland of the basin of Mexico valley. Nowadays, axolotl populations are decreasing due environmental stressors. Particularly, studies about organophosphorus pesticides (OPPs; i.e. chlorpyrifos and malathion) toxicity are of great importance due to their intensive use in agricultural activities in Xochimilco. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate under controlled conditions the toxicity of chlorpyrifos (CPF) and malathion (MLT) on embryos and larvae (stage 44 and 54) of A. mexicanum. Embryos and larvae were exposure 96h from 0.5 to 3mg CPFL(-1) and from 10 to 30mg MLTL(-1) in independent tests. Embryos at the end of this period were maintained 9d without pesticide in order to identify possible recuperation. Differences obtained in mortality, hatching success, development, morphological abnormalities, behaviour and activity, suggest that toxicity of CPF and MLT differs in embryos and larval stages. Embryos were less sensitive to OPPs acute exposure than axolotl larvae; additionally, toxicity of CPF in larval stages was greater than MLT. On the other hand, data obtained in axolotl embryos during the period of recuperation to CPF in particular as delay and inhibition of development, malformations and success of hatching, indicated that these responses turned out more sensitive than mortality. This study allowed to identify the toxicological potential of OPPs on early developmental stages of A. mexicanum and it is a valuable contribution for the future management of the axolotl wild population.

  9. A novel protein involved in heart development in Ambystoma mexicanum is localized in endoplasmic reticulum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, P; Zhang, C; Huang, X P; Poda, M; Akbas, F; Lemanski, S L; Erginel-Unaltuna, N; Lemanski, L F

    2008-11-01

    The discovery of the naturally occurring cardiac non-function (c) animal strain in Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl) provides a valuable animal model to study cardiomyocyte differentiation. In homozygous mutant animals (c/c), rhythmic contractions of the embryonic heart are absent due to a lack of organized myofibrils. We have previously cloned a partial sequence of a peptide cDNA (N1) from an anterior-endoderm-conditioned-medium RNA library that had been shown to be able to rescue the mutant phenotype. In the current studies we have fully cloned the N1 full length cDNA sequence from the library. N1 protein has been detected in both adult heart and skeletal muscle but not in any other adult tissues. GFP-tagged expression of the N1 protein has revealed localization of the N1 protein in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Results from in situ hybridization experiments have confirmed the dramatic decrease of expression of N1 mRNA in mutant (c/c) embryos indicating that the N1 gene is involved in heart development.

  10. Identification of reference genes and validation for gene expression studies in diverse axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guelke, Eileen; Bucan, Vesna; Liebsch, Christina; Lazaridis, Andrea; Radtke, Christine; Vogt, Peter M; Reimers, Kerstin

    2015-04-10

    For the precise quantitative RT-PCR normalization a set of valid reference genes is obligatory. Moreover have to be taken into concern the experimental conditions as they bias the regulation of reference genes. Up till now, no reference targets have been described for the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). In a search in the public database SalSite for genetic information of the axolotl we identified fourteen presumptive reference genes, eleven of which were further tested for their gene expression stability. This study characterizes the expressional patterns of 11 putative endogenous control genes during axolotl limb regeneration and in an axolotl tissue panel. All 11 reference genes showed variable expression. Strikingly, ACTB was to be found most stable expressed in all comparative tissue groups, so we reason it to be suitable for all different kinds of axolotl tissue-type investigations. Moreover do we suggest GAPDH and RPLP0 as suitable for certain axolotl tissue analysis. When it comes to axolotl limb regeneration, a validated pair of reference genes is ODC and RPLP0. With these findings, new insights into axolotl gene expression profiling might be gained.

  11. Courtship Pheromone Use in a Model Urodele, the Mexican Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maex, Margo; Van Bocxlaer, Ines; Mortier, Anneleen; Proost, Paul; Bossuyt, Franky

    2016-02-04

    Sex pheromones have been shown to constitute a crucial aspect of salamander reproduction. Until now, courtship pheromones of Salamandridae and Plethodontidae have been intensively studied, but information on chemical communication in other urodelan families is essentially lacking. The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum, Ambystomatidae) has a courtship display that suggests a key role for chemical communication in the orchestration of its sexual behavior, but no sex pheromones have yet been characterized from this species. Here we combined whole transcriptome analyses of the male cloaca with proteomic analyses of water in which axolotls were allowed to court to show that male axolotls secrete multiple ca. 20 kDa glycosylated sodefrin precursor-like factor (SPF) proteins during courtship. In combination with phylogenetic analyses, our data show that the male cloaca essentially secretes a courtship-specific clade of SPF proteins that is orthologous to salamandrid courtship pheromones. In addition, we identified an SPF protein for which no orthologs have been described from other salamanders so far. Overall, our study advocates a central role for SPF proteins during the courtship display of axolotls and adds knowledge on pheromone use in a previously unexplored deep evolutionary branch of salamander evolution.

  12. Gallium nitrate: effects on cartilage during limb regeneration in the axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tassava, Roy A; Mendenhall, Luciara; Apseloff, Glen; Gerber, Nicholas

    2002-09-01

    Gallium nitrate, a drug shown to have efficacy in Paget's disease of bone, hypercalcemia of malignancy, and a variety of experimental autoimmune diseases, also inhibits the growth of some types of cancer. We examined dose and timing of administration of gallium nitrate on limb regeneration in the Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum. Administered by intraperitoneal injection, gallium nitrate inhibited limb regeneration in a dose-dependent manner. Gallium nitrate initially suppressed epithelial wound healing and subsequently distorted both anterior-posterior and proximo-distal chondrogenic patterns. Gallium nitrate given at three days after amputation severely inhibited regeneration at high doses (6.25 mg/axolotl) and altered the normal patterning of the regenerates at low doses (3.75 mg/axolotl). Administration of 6.25 mg of gallium nitrate at four or 14 days prior to amputation also inhibited regeneration. In amputated limbs of gallium-treated axolotls, the chondrocytes were lost from inside the radius/ulna. Limbs that regenerated after gallium treatment was terminated showed blastema formation preferentially over the ulna. New cartilage of the regenerate often attached to the sides of the existing radius/ulna proximally into the stump and less so to the distal cut ends. J. Exp. Zool. 293:384-394, 2002.

  13. Functional and structural regeneration in the axolotl heart (Ambystoma mexicanum) after partial ventricular amputation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cano-Martínez, Agustina; Vargas-González, Alvaro; Guarner-Lans, Verónica; Prado-Zayago, Esteban; León-Oleda, Martha; Nieto-Lima, Betzabé

    2010-01-01

    "In the present study we evaluated the effect of partial ventricular amputation (PVA) in the heart of the adult urodele amphibian (Ambystoma mexicanum) in vivo on spontaneous heart contractile activity recorded in vitro in association to the structural recovery at one, five, 30 and 90 days after injury. One day after PVA, ventricular-tension (VT) (16 ± 3%), atrium-tension (AT) (46 ± 4%) and heart rate (HR) (58+10%) resulted lower in comparison to control hearts. On days five, 30 and 90 after damage, values achieved a 61 ± 5, 93 ± 3, and 98 ± 5% (VT), 60 ± 4, 96 ± 3 and 99 ± 5% (AT) and 74 ± 5, 84 ± 10 and 95 ± 10% (HR) of the control values, respectively. Associated to contractile activity recovery we corroborated a gradual tissue restoration by cardiomyocyte proliferation. Our results represent the first quantitative evidence about the recovery of heart of A. mexicanum restores its functional capacity concomitantly to the structural recovery of the myocardium by proliferation of cardiomyocytes after PVA. These properties make the heart of A. mexicanum a potential model to study the mechanisms underlying heart regeneration in adult vertebrates in vivo.

  14. Characterization of glycosaminoglycans during tooth development and mineralization in the axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wistuba, J; Völker, W; Ehmcke, J; Clemen, G

    2003-10-01

    Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) involved in the formation of the teeth of Ambystoma mexicanum were located and characterized with the cuprolinic blue (CB) staining method and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Glycosaminoglycan-cuprolinic blue precipitates (GAGCB) were found in different compartments of the mineralizing tissue. Various populations of elongated GAGCB could be discriminated both according to their size and their preferential distribution in the extracellular matrix (ECM). GAGCB populations that differ in their composition could be attributed not only to the compartments of the ECM but also to different zones and to different tooth types (early-larval and transformed). Larger precipitates were only observed within the dentine matrix of the shaft of the early-larval tooth. The composition of the populations differed significantly between the regions of the transformed tooth: pedicel, shaft and dividing zone. In later stages of tooth formation, small-sized GAGCBs were seen as intracellular deposits in the ameloblasts. It is concluded that the composition of GAGCB populations seems to play a role in the mineralization processes during tooth development in A. mexicanum and influence qualitative characteristics of the mineral in different tooth types and zones, and it is suggested that GAGs might be resorbed by the enamel epithelium during the late phase of enamel formation.

  15. The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), a neotenic amphibian, expresses functional thyroid hormone receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safi, Rachid; Bertrand, Stéphanie; Marchand, Oriane; Duffraisse, Marilyne; de Luze, Amaury; Vanacker, Jean-Marc; Maraninchi, Marie; Margotat, Alain; Demeneix, Barbara; Laudet, Vincent

    2004-02-01

    Neotenic amphibians such as the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) are often unable to undergo metamorphosis under natural conditions. It is thought that neoteny represents a deviation from the standard course of amphibian ontogeny, affecting the thyroid axis at different levels from the central nervous system to peripheral organs. Thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) that bind the thyroid hormone (TH) T(3) have been described in axolotl. However, the full sequences of TR were needed to better characterize the TH response and to be able to assess their functional capacity at the molecular level. We report that each of the alpha and beta axolotl TRs bind both DNA and TH, and they activate transcription in response to TH in a mammalian cell-based transient transfection assay. Moreover, both TRs are expressed in axolotl tissues. Interestingly, each TR gene generates alternatively spliced isoforms, harboring partial or total deletions of the ligand-binding domain, which are expressed in vivo. Further, we found that in the axolotl, TH regulates the expression of stromelysin 3 and collagenase 3, which are TH target genes in Xenopus. Taken together, these results suggest that axolotl TRs are functional and that the molecular basis of neoteny in the axolotl is not linked to a major defect in TH response in peripheral tissues.

  16. Ambiguities in the relationship between gonadal steroids and reproduction in axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisthen, Heather L; Krause, Brianne Chung

    2012-05-01

    Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) are aquatic salamanders that are widely used in research. Axolotls have been bred in laboratories for nearly 150 years, yet little is known about the basic biology of reproduction in these animals. We investigated the effects of changing day length, time of year, and food availability on levels of circulating estradiol and androgens in adult female and male axolotls, respectively. In addition, we examined the effects of these variables on the mass of ovaries, oviducts, and eggs in females and on mass of testes in males relative to each individual's body weight, to calculate a form of gonadosomatic index (GSI). In both sexes, GSI was not correlated with levels of circulating steroids. In female axolotls, estradiol levels were influenced by food availability, changes in day length, and season, even when animals were held at a constant temperature and day length was decorrelated with calendar date. In addition, the mass of ovaries, oviducts, and eggs varied seasonally, peaking in the winter months and declining during the summer months, even though our animals were not breeding and shedding eggs. In males, levels of androgens appeared to vary independently of external conditions, but GSI varied dramatically with changes in day length. These results suggest that reproduction in axolotls may vary seasonally, as it does in many other ambystomid species, although both male and female axolotls are capable of reproducing several times each year. The physiological basis of this ability remains enigmatic, given the indications of seasonality contained in our data.

  17. Retinoid antagonists inhibit normal patterning during limb regeneration in the axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Rincón, Sonia V; Scadding, Steven R

    2002-04-01

    Retinoic acid (RA) has been detected in the regenerating limb of the axolotl, and exogenous RA can proximalize, posteriorize, and ventralize blastemal cells. Thus, RA may be an endogenous regulatory factor during limb regeneration. We have investigated whether endogenous retinoids are essential for patterning during axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) limb regeneration by using retinoid antagonists that bind to specific RAR (retinoic acid receptor) or RXR (retinoid X receptor) retinoid receptor subtypes. Retinoid antagonists (Ro41-5253, Ro61-8431, LE135, and LE540) were administered to regenerating limbs using implanted silastin blocks loaded with each antagonist. The skeletal pattern of regenerated limbs treated with Ro41-5253 or Ro61-8431 differed only slightly from control limbs. Treatment with LE135 inhibited limb regeneration, while treatment with LE540 allowed relatively normal limb regeneration. When LE135 and LE540 were implanted together, regeneration was not completely inhibited and a hand-like process regenerated. These results demonstrate that interfering with retinoid receptors can modify pattern in the regenerating limb indicating that endogenous retinoids are important during patterning of the regenerating limb.

  18. The epithelium of the tongue of Ambystoma mexicanum. Ultrastructural and histochemical aspects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wistuba, J; Opolka, A; Clemen, G

    1999-12-01

    The distribution pattern of taste buds and goblet cells and histochemical and ultrastructural aspects of the tongue epithelium of Ambystoma mexicanum are here described. This study is also concerned with the developmental stages and origins of the epithelial cells. Pavement cells and goblet cells of the stratum superficiale are replaced by basal cells of the stratum germinativum in larvae and neotenous adults. The pavement cells of the larvae are characterized by a marginal layer of mucin grana. Decompaction of the mucins occurs immediately before extrusion in the adult. The larval goblet cell type (type I), which is also present in the adult, contains unfused grana of irregular shape. At the tip of the tongue, a further type (type II) of goblet cells is found. In the type II cells the intracellular secretory grana fuse to a single homogeneous mass. Leydig cells of the tongue epithelium are discerned by light microscopy first in the semi-adult, apparently correlated with partial metamorphosis. In the course of ontogenesis and induced metamorphosis the secretion changes to neutral glycoconjugates. The mucins of the pavement cells change first followed by those of the goblet cells. The glands of the secondary tongue show a dorso-ventral pattern of varying secretory qualities. Taste buds are found at the anterior margin of the tongue and along the base of the gill clasps in the early larva. They are already distributed all over the tongue at the end of the early larval phase.

  19. Interactions between introduced trout and larval salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum) in high-elevation lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyler, T.; Liss, W.J.; Ganio, L.; Larson, Gary L.; Hoffman, Robert L.; Deimling, E.; Lomnicky, G.A.

    1998-01-01

    The larval stage of the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum) is the top vertebrate predator in high-elevation fishless lakes in the North Cascades National Park Service Complex, Washington (U.S.A.). Although most of these high-elevation lakes were naturally fishless, trout have been stocked in many of them. We sought to determine the effects of physicochemical factors and introduced trout on abundance and behavior of A. macrodactylum larvae. Larval salamander densities were estimated by snorkeling. Snorkelers carefully searched through substrate materials within 2 m of the shoreline and recorded the number of larvae observed and if larvae were hidden in benthic substrates. Physicochemical factors were measured in each lake on the same day that snorkel surveys were conducted. In fishless lakes, larval salamander densities were positively related to total Kjeldahl-N concentration and negatively related to lake elevation. Crustacean zooplankton, especially cladocerans, were important food resources for larval A. macrodactylum. Crustacean zooplankton and cladoceran densities were positively related to total Kjeldahl-N, suggesting that increased food resources contributed to increased densities of larval A. macrodactylum. Differences in larval salamander densities between fish and fishless lakes were related to total Kjeldahl-N concentrations and the reproductive status of trout. Mean larval salamander densities for fishless lakes with total Kjeldahl-N amphibians requires an understanding of natural abiotic and biotic factors and processes influencing amphibian distribution and abundance.

  20. GnRH Protein Levels in Atrazine-Treated Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Leupen

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Atrazine is the most widely used agricultural herbicide in the United States and a known endocrine disruptor. In amphibians, it has been shown to cause gonadal malformations, feminization of males, behavioral changes, and immune suppression; however, its mechanism ofaction is unknown. We hypothesized that atrazine reduces the production of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH in the hypothalamus. Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum were exposed to atrazine, 10-8 M ß-estradiol-3-benzoate, or no treatment and were sacrificed at 6, 8, and 10 months of age. GnRH neurons were labeled using immunocytochemistry, and labeled neurons were then counted using confocal microscopy. Although no significant difference wasfound in the total number of GnRH neurons, ectopic GnRH expression was seen in some brains. A significant negative correlation was found between presence of ectopic GnRH and number of normal GnRH neurons. Atrazine-treated animals were more likely than control or estrogentreated animals to have ectopic GnRH expression. The data implicate a central site of action of atrazine.

  1. Temporally adaptive sampling: a case study in rare species survey design with marbled salamanders (Ambystoma opacum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noah D Charney

    Full Text Available Improving detection rates for elusive species with clumped distributions is often accomplished through adaptive sampling designs. This approach can be extended to include species with temporally variable detection probabilities. By concentrating survey effort in years when the focal species are most abundant or visible, overall detection rates can be improved. This requires either long-term monitoring at a few locations where the species are known to occur or models capable of predicting population trends using climatic and demographic data. For marbled salamanders (Ambystoma opacum in Massachusetts, we demonstrate that annual variation in detection probability of larvae is regionally correlated. In our data, the difference in survey success between years was far more important than the difference among the three survey methods we employed: diurnal surveys, nocturnal surveys, and dipnet surveys. Based on these data, we simulate future surveys to locate unknown populations under a temporally adaptive sampling framework. In the simulations, when pond dynamics are correlated over the focal region, the temporally adaptive design improved mean survey success by as much as 26% over a non-adaptive sampling design. Employing a temporally adaptive strategy costs very little, is simple, and has the potential to substantially improve the efficient use of scarce conservation funds.

  2. Annual surveys of larval Ambystoma cingulatum reveal large differences in dates of pond residency

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bevelhimer, Mark S [ORNL; Giffen, Neil R [ORNL; Stevenson, Dirk [Ft Stewart Fish and Wildlife Branch

    2008-05-01

    Effective sampling of pond-dwelling larval stages of the federally listed Ambystoma cingulatum (Flatwoods Salamander) requires sufficient knowledge of when larvae are present and how best to sample them. Through systematic sampling with active and passive sampling techniques, we found dipnetting to be significantly more effective than three types of passive traps. During surveys for Flatwoods Salamander larvae at Fort Stewart Military Installation, GA in 2005 and 2006, we found that pond residency varied by at least 1.5 months between the 2 years due to the timing of pond filling. In addition, our latest capture on 23 May 2005 was about 2 weeks later than previously recorded at any site range-wide. A simple growth model was used to evaluate likely hatching dates based on significant rain events, observed sizes at capture, and likely growth rates. This analysis suggested that the primary dates of hatching occurred in late February 2005 and early January 2006, a difference that corresponds to that seen in the residency of the latest larval stages. A review of the survey records for Fort Stewart for the past 13 years shows a steep decline in the number of occupied ponds from near 20 to a single pond for the past two years (the only documented breeding success in a natural pond since 1999).

  3. A single nucleotide polymorphism assay for the identification of unisexual Ambystoma salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenwald, Katherine R; Lisle Gibbs, H

    2012-03-01

    Unisexual (all female) salamanders in the genus Ambystoma are animals of variable ploidy (2N-5N) that reproduce via a unique system of 'leaky' gynogenesis. As a result, these salamanders have a diverse array of nuclear genome combinations from up to five sexual species: the blue-spotted (A. laterale), Jefferson (A. jeffersonianum), smallmouth (A. texanum), tiger (A. tigrinum) and streamside (A. barbouri) salamanders. Identifying the genome complement, or biotype, is a critical first step in addressing a broad range of ecological and evolutionary questions about these salamanders. Previous work relied upon genome-related differences in allele size distributions for specific microsatellite loci, but overlap in these distributions among different genomes makes definitive identification and ploidy determination in unisexuals difficult or impossible. Here, we develop the first single nucleotide polymorphism assay for the identification of unisexual biotypes, based on species-specific nucleotide polymorphisms in noncoding DNA loci. Tests with simulated and natural unisexual DNA samples show that this method can accurately identify genome complement and estimate ploidy, making this a valuable tool for assessing the genome composition of unisexual samples.

  4. Early gene expression during natural spinal cord regeneration in the salamander Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monaghan, James R; Walker, John A; Page, Robert B; Putta, Srikrishna; Beachy, Christopher K; Voss, S Randal

    2007-04-01

    In contrast to mammals, salamanders have a remarkable ability to regenerate their spinal cord and recover full movement and function after tail amputation. To identify genes that may be associated with this greater regenerative ability, we designed an oligonucleotide microarray and profiled early gene expression during natural spinal cord regeneration in Ambystoma mexicanum. We sampled tissue at five early time points after tail amputation and identified genes that registered significant changes in mRNA abundance during the first 7 days of regeneration. A list of 1036 statistically significant genes was identified. Additional statistical and fold change criteria were applied to identify a smaller list of 360 genes that were used to describe predominant expression patterns and gene functions. Our results show that a diverse injury response is activated in concert with extracellular matrix remodeling mechanisms during the early acute phase of natural spinal cord regeneration. We also report gene expression similarities and differences between our study and studies that have profiled gene expression after spinal cord injury in rat. Our study illustrates the utility of a salamander model for identifying genes and gene functions that may enhance regenerative ability in mammals.

  5. Mitochondrial morphology in the spermatozoa of the Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keyhani, E; Lemanski, L F

    1981-08-01

    Thin-section and freeze-fracture electron microscopy of immature and mature spermatozoa of the Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, revealed numerous small spherical mitochondria with diameters ranging from 0.15 to 0.22 micrometers. Both the spherical form and the small size of these mitochondria were confirmed by serial thin-section studies. In mature spermatozoa, the mitochondria are located in the midpiece region, in tight contact with each other, exhibiting an almost crystalline arrangement. They do not surround the midpiece, but form a semicircular sheet over the sustained filament. The portion of the midpiece on the side of the undulating membrane and the flagellum is devoid of mitochondria. The plasma membrane in the midpiece region is tightly apposed to the mitochondria, so that in freeze-fracture or scanning electron microscopy the mitochondria seem to protrude through the plasma membrane. We suggest that the unusual organization of mitochondria in axoloti sperm facilitates the oxidative processes and increases the efficiency of ATP production and/or distribution within the cell.

  6. The organization of the cardiac ganglion of the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melinek, R; Mirolli, M

    1988-09-01

    The heart of the axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum was studied with histochemical methods to determine the distribution of neurons containing acetylcholine esterase, catecholamines and 5-hydroxytryptamine. The cardiac ganglion is made up of cholinergic nerve fibers and somata, and of catecholaminergic fibers. Small intensely fluorescent cells were found along blood vessels in the pericardial wall at the base of the heart, but not in the heart itself, except, in a few instances, in the region bordering the pericardial wall. Both the cholinergic and the catecholaminergic innervation of the heart were poorly developed at hatching and reached their mature state after a few months. Cholinesterase staining fibers appeared several weeks before catecholaminergic fibers. The number of postganglionic cholinergic neurons in the heart increased several-fold during the first month after hatching. Histofluorescence studies of organ cultures suggested that all the catecholamine present in the heart are of extrinsic origin. Liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection demonstrated that the dominant catecholamine in the heart is norepinephrine. No neurons containing 5-hydroxytryptamine were found.

  7. The prevalence of genome replacement in unisexual salamanders of the genus Ambystoma (Amphibia, Caudata revealed by nuclear gene genealogy

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    Bogart James P

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Unisexual salamanders of the genus Ambystoma exemplify the most ancient lineage of unisexual vertebrates and demonstrate an extremely flexible reproductive system. Unisexual Ambystoma interact with and incorporate genomes from two to four sexual species (A. laterale, A. jeffersonianum,A. texanum, and A. tigrinum, to generate more than 20 genome compositions or biotypes. Unisexual ploidy levels range from diploid to pentaploid, but all contain at least one A. laterale (L genome. Replacement of nuclear genomes might be responsible for the evolutionary longevity of unisexual Ambystoma but direct evidence for the prevalence of genome replacement in natural populations is absent. Two major puzzling questions have remained unanswered over the last few decades: 1 is genome replacement a common reproductive method in various unisexual populations and, 2 is there an ancient "L" genome that persists in various unisexual genome compositions. Results We examined 194 unisexual and 89 A. laterale specimens from 97 localities throughout their range and constructed a genealogy of the "L" genomes using a nuclear DNA marker (L-G1C12 to answer the above questions. Six L-G1C12 haplotypes (A-F were shared by individuals in various A. laterale and unisexual populations. The general geographical distribution of the haplotypes in unisexual populations conformed to those found in A. laterale, indicating that "L" genomes in unisexuals are obtained from sympatric or nearby populations of A. laterale. Conclusion Our data demonstrate that genome replacement frequently occurs in unisexual Ambystoma across their range, and support previous speculations that genome replacement is an important reproductive mechanism that can enhance their evolutionary longevity. Our results show that there is no ancient "L" genome in the unisexual lineages, and no particular "L" genome is favored in any unisexual individual. The presence of an "L" genome in all unisexuals

  8. Ultrastructure of the renal juxtaglomerular complex and peripolar cells in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) and toad (Bufo marinus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanner, R H; Ryan, G B

    1980-05-01

    Renal juxtaglomerular regions were examined in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum and toad (Bufo marinus). Prominent granulated peripolar epithelial cells were found surrounding the origin of the glomerular tuft in the axolotl. These cells resembled the peripolar cells recently discovered in mammalian species. They contained multiple electron-dense cytoplasmic granules, some of which showed a paracrystalline substructure and signs of exocytoxic activity. Such cells were difficult to find and smaller in the toad. In contrast, granulated juxtaglomerular arteriolar myoephithelial cells were much more readily found and larger in the toad than in the axolotl. No consistent differences were noted in juxtaglomerular cells or their granules in response to changes in environmental chloride concentration.

  9. Collection of gametes from live axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, and standardization of in vitro fertilization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansour, N; Lahnsteiner, F; Patzner, R A

    2011-01-15

    This study established the first protocol for collection of gametes from live axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, by gentle abdominal massage and in vitro fertilization. To stimulate spermiation and ovulation, human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) and Ovopel pellets, which are commercially used to stimulate spawning in fish, were tested. The hCG was more effective than Ovopel pellets and yielded a higher semen volume in the injected males and a shorter response time in the females. Collected semen by this method was already motile and fertile. Fertile eggs could be collected in 3-4 successive collection times after the female has started the typical spawning behaviour. The fertilization condition that yielded the highest hatching rate was mixing semen with eggs before the addition of a fertilization saline solution (20 mmol/l NaCl, 1 mmol/l KCl, 1 mmol/l Mg(2)SO(4), 1 mmol Ca(2)Cl, 3 mmol NaHCO(3), 10 mmol/l Tris, pH 8.5 - Osmolality = 65 mosmol/kg). When the pH of the fertilization solution was increased to ≥ 10, the hatching rate was significantly increased. The use of fertilization solutions with osmolalities of ≥ 150 and ≥ 182 were accompanied with a significant decrease in hatching rates and the appearance of deformed larvae, respectively. In conclusion, a reliable protocol for gamete collection from live axolotl is established as a laboratory model of in vitro fertilization for urodele amphibians. This protocol may be transferable to endangered urodeles.

  10. Excretory nitrogen metabolism in the juvenile axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum: differences in aquatic and terrestrial environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loong, Ai M; Chew, Shit F; Ip, Yuen K

    2002-01-01

    The fully grown but nonmetamorphosed (juvenile) axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum was ureogenic and primarily ureotelic in water. A complete ornithine-urea cycle (OUC) was present in the liver. Aerial exposure impeded urea (but not ammonia) excretion, leading to a decrease in the percentage of nitrogen excreted as urea in the first 24 h. However, urea and not ammonia accumulated in the muscle, liver, and plasma during aerial exposure. By 48 h, the rate of urea excretion recovered fully, probably due to the greater urea concentration gradient in the kidney. It is generally accepted that an increase in carbamoyl phosphate synthetase activity is especially critical in the developmental transition from ammonotelism to ureotelism in the amphibian. Results from this study indicate that such a transition in A. mexicanum would have occurred before migration to land. Aerial exposure for 72 h exhibited no significant effect on carbamoyl phosphate synthetase-I activity or that of other OUC enzymes (with the exception of ornithine transcarbamoylase) from the liver of the juvenile A. mexicanum. This supports our hypothesis that the capacities of OUC enzymes present in the liver of the aquatic juvenile axolotl were adequate to prepare it for its invasion of the terrestrial environment. The high OUC capacity was further supported by the capability of the juvenile A. mexicanum to survive in 10 mM NH(4)Cl without accumulating amino acids in its body. The majority of the accumulating endogenous and exogenous ammonia was detoxified to urea, which led to a greater than twofold increase in urea levels in the muscle, liver, and plasma and a significant increase in urea excretion by hour 96. Hence, it can be concluded that the juvenile axolotl acquired ureotelism while submerged in water, and its hepatic capacity of urea synthesis was more than adequate to handle the toxicity of endogenous ammonia during migration to land.

  11. Neural crest does not contribute to the neck and shoulder in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum.

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    Hans-Henning Epperlein

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: A major step during the evolution of tetrapods was their transition from water to land. This process involved the reduction or complete loss of the dermal bones that made up connections to the skull and a concomitant enlargement of the endochondral shoulder girdle. In the mouse the latter is derived from three separate embryonic sources: lateral plate mesoderm, somites, and neural crest. The neural crest was suggested to sustain the muscle attachments. How this complex composition of the endochondral shoulder girdle arose during evolution and whether it is shared by all tetrapods is unknown. Salamanders that lack dermal bone within their shoulder girdle were of special interest for a possible contribution of the neural crest to the endochondral elements and muscle attachment sites, and we therefore studied them in this context. RESULTS: We grafted neural crest from GFP+ fluorescent transgenic axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum donor embryos into white (d/d axolotl hosts and followed the presence of neural crest cells within the cartilage of the shoulder girdle and the connective tissue of muscle attachment sites of the neck-shoulder region. Strikingly, neural crest cells did not contribute to any part of the endochondral shoulder girdle or to the connective tissue at muscle attachment sites in axolotl. CONCLUSIONS: Our results in axolotl suggest that neural crest does not serve a general function in vertebrate shoulder muscle attachment sites as predicted by the "muscle scaffold theory," and that it is not necessary to maintain connectivity of the endochondral shoulder girdle to the skull. Our data support the possibility that the contribution of the neural crest to the endochondral shoulder girdle, which is observed in the mouse, arose de novo in mammals as a developmental basis for their skeletal synapomorphies. This further supports the hypothesis of an increased neural crest diversification during vertebrate evolution.

  12. Tiger salamanders' (Ambystoma tigrinum) response learning and usage of visual cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kundey, Shannon M A; Millar, Roberto; McPherson, Justin; Gonzalez, Maya; Fitz, Aleyna; Allen, Chadbourne

    2016-05-01

    We explored tiger salamanders' (Ambystoma tigrinum) learning to execute a response within a maze as proximal visual cue conditions varied. In Experiment 1, salamanders learned to turn consistently in a T-maze for reinforcement before the maze was rotated. All learned the initial task and executed the trained turn during test, suggesting that they learned to demonstrate the reinforced response during training and continued to perform it during test. In a second experiment utilizing a similar procedure, two visual cues were placed consistently at the maze junction. Salamanders were reinforced for turning towards one cue. Cue placement was reversed during test. All learned the initial task, but executed the trained turn rather than turning towards the visual cue during test, evidencing response learning. In Experiment 3, we investigated whether a compound visual cue could control salamanders' behaviour when it was the only cue predictive of reinforcement in a cross-maze by varying start position and cue placement. All learned to turn in the direction indicated by the compound visual cue, indicating that visual cues can come to control their behaviour. Following training, testing revealed that salamanders attended to stimuli foreground over background features. Overall, these results suggest that salamanders learn to execute responses over learning to use visual cues but can use visual cues if required. Our success with this paradigm offers the potential in future studies to explore salamanders' cognition further, as well as to shed light on how features of the tiger salamanders' life history (e.g. hibernation and metamorphosis) impact cognition.

  13. Life history plasticity does not confer resilience to environmental change in the mole salamander (Ambystoma talpoideum)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtney L. Davis,; David A.W. Miller,; Walls, Susan; Barichivich, William J.; Riley, Jeffrey W.; Brown, Mary E.

    2017-01-01

    Plasticity in life history strategies can be advantageous for species that occupy spatially or temporally variable environments. We examined how phenotypic plasticity influences responses of the mole salamander, Ambystoma talpoideum, to disturbance events at the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (SMNWR), FL, USA from 2009 to 2014. We observed periods of extensive drought early in the study, in contrast to high rainfall and expansive flooding events in later years. Flooding facilitated colonization of predatory fishes to isolated wetlands across the refuge. We employed multistate occupancy models to determine how this natural experiment influenced the occurrence of aquatic larvae and paedomorphic adults and what implications this may have for the population. We found that, in terms of occurrence, responses to environmental variation differed between larvae and paedomorphs, but plasticity (i.e. the ability to metamorphose rather than remain in aquatic environment) was not sufficient to buffer populations from declining as a result of environmental perturbations. Drought and fish presence negatively influenced occurrence dynamics of larval and paedomorphic mole salamanders and, consequently, contributed to observed short-term declines of this species. Overall occurrence of larval salamanders decreased from 0.611 in 2009 to 0.075 in 2014 and paedomorph occurrence decreased from 0.311 in 2009 to 0.121 in 2014. Although variation in selection pressures has likely maintained this polyphenism previously, our results suggest that continued changes in environmental variability and the persistence of fish in isolated wetlands could lead to a loss of paedomorphosis in the SMNWR population and, ultimately, impact regional persistence in the future.

  14. Microarray analysis identifies keratin loci as sensitive biomarkers for thyroid hormone disruption in the salamander Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page, Robert B; Monaghan, James R; Samuels, Amy K; Smith, Jeramiah J; Beachy, Christopher K; Voss, S Randal

    2007-02-01

    Ambystomatid salamanders offer several advantages for endocrine disruption research, including genomic and bioinformatics resources, an accessible laboratory model (Ambystoma mexicanum), and natural lineages that are broadly distributed among North American habitats. We used microarray analysis to measure the relative abundance of transcripts isolated from A. mexicanum epidermis (skin) after exogenous application of thyroid hormone (TH). Only one gene had a >2-fold change in transcript abundance after 2 days of TH treatment. However, hundreds of genes showed significantly different transcript levels at days 12 and 28 in comparison to day 0. A list of 123 TH-responsive genes was identified using statistical, BLAST, and fold level criteria. Cluster analysis identified two groups of genes with similar transcription patterns: up-regulated versus down-regulated. Most notably, several keratins exhibited dramatic (1000 fold) increases or decreases in transcript abundance. Keratin gene expression changes coincided with morphological remodeling of epithelial tissues. This suggests that keratin loci can be developed as sensitive biomarkers to assay temporal disruptions of larval-to-adult gene expression programs. Our study has identified the first collection of loci that are regulated during TH-induced metamorphosis in a salamander, thus setting the stage for future investigations of TH disruption in the Mexican axolotl and other salamanders of the genus Ambystoma.

  15. Tooth development in Ambystoma mexicanum: phosphatase activities, calcium accumulation and cell proliferation in the tooth-forming tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wistuba, Joachim; Ehmcke, Jens; Clemen, Günter

    2003-06-01

    Prerequisites of tooth formation, cell proliferation in the tooth-forming tissues, calcium accumulation and the enzymatic activities of alkaline (ALP) and acid phosphatases (ACP) were investigated by immunohistochemical and histochemical methods in various developmental stages of the Mexican Axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum. During the growth of replacement teeth, the tooth-forming tissues continually recruit cells from the surrounding regions. The basal layer of the oral epithelium, the dental lamina and sometimes even the outer enamel epithelium provide cells for the differentiated inner enamel epithelium, in which the active ameloblasts are localized. The differentiating odontoblasts are derived from proliferating cells situated basally to the replacement teeth in the mesenchymal tissue. When differentiation has started and the cells have become functional, proliferative activity can no longer be observed. Calcium is accumulated close to the site of mineralization in the inner enamel epithelium and in the odontoblasts as it is in mammals, elasmobranchii and teleostei. The activities of ACP and ALP related to the mineralization of the replacement teeth are separated spatially and not sequentially as they are in mammals. However, the results indicate a similar function of these enzymatic components in relation to tooth formation and maturation of mineral deposition. Most of the substantial processes related to tooth formation reported from other vertebrates occur in a manner similar to that in Ambystoma mexicanum, but there also seem to be basic mechanisms present that are realised in a unique way in this urodele.

  16. Genetic structure and diversity in an isolated population of an endemic mole salamander (Ambystoma rivulare Taylor, 1940) of central Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heredia-Bobadilla, Rosa-Laura; Monroy-Vilchis, Octavio; Zarco-González, Martha M; Martínez-Gómez, Daniel; Mendoza-Martínez, Germán David; Sunny, Armando

    2016-12-01

    Human activities are affecting the distribution of species worldwide by causing fragmentation and isolation of populations. Isolation and fragmentation lead to populations with lower genetic variability and an increased chance of inbreeding and genetic drift, which results in a loss of biological fitness over time. Studies of the genetic structure of small and isolated populations are critically important for management and conservation decisions. Ambystoma rivulare is a micro-endemic Mexican mole salamander from central Mexico. It is found in the most ecologically disturbed region in Mexico, the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. The goal of this study of the population genetics of the micro-endemic mole salamander was to provide information to be used as a basis for future research and conservation planning of this species and other species of the Ambystoma genus in Mexico. The structural analysis found two subpopulations, one for each river sampled, with no signs of admixture and very high levels of genetic differentiation. Medium to high levels of heterozygosity and few alleles and genotypes were observed. Evidence of an ancestral genetic bottleneck, low values of effective population size, small inbreeding coefficients, and low gene flow were also found.

  17. Diet of larval Ambystoma rivulare (Caudata: Ambystomatidae, a threatened salamander from the Volcán Nevado de Toluca, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julio A. Lemos-Espinal

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Several species of salamander in the genus Ambystoma occur in the mountains surrounding Mexico City and are considered at risk of extinction. However, little is known about their ecology and natural history. The Toluca Stream Siredon (Ambystoma rivulare is classified as “Data Deficient” by the IUCN, and considered “Threatened” under Mexican law. From October 2013 to September 2014, we examined the diet of larval A. rivulare from a stream on the Volcán Nevado de Toluca in Mexico to provide insight into the suitability of the habitat to support this population of salamanders. Ostracods accounted for approximately 90% of all prey items consumed by larval A. rivulare. The number of ostracods found in stomachs increased with individual body size, but the proportion of ostracods in stomachs did not vary with body size. Nematodes were observed in approximately one third of the stomachs we examined. The diversity of prey in the diet of A. rivulare in the stream we studied is low and dominated by a single prey taxon, ostracods. Our results suggest that if environmental conditions in the stream change such that ostracods are negatively affected then the long-term persistence of this population of A. rivulare might be in jeopardy.

  18. Esterases activity in the axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum exposed to chlorpyrifos and its implication to motor activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robles-Mendoza, Cecilia; Zúñiga-Lagunes, Sebastian R; Ponce de León-Hill, Claudia A; Hernández-Soto, Jesús; Vanegas-Pérez, Cecilia

    2011-10-01

    The axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum is a neotenic salamander considered a good biological model due to its ability to regenerate limbs, tail, brain and heart cells. Nevertheless, severe reduction of A. mexicanum wild populations in the lacustrine area of Xochimilco, the natural habitat of the axolotl, could be related to several environmental pressures as the presence of organophosphate pesticides (OPPs), intensively applied in agricultural activities in Xochimilco. Thus the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of environmentally realistic chlorpyrifos (CPF) concentrations, a OPP commonly used in this zone, on esterases activity (acetylcholinesterase and carboxylesterase) and bioconcentration of CPF and to relate them with the motor activity of A. mexicanum juveniles. Axolotls were exposed 48 h to 0.05 and 0.1mg CPF/L, and the responses were evaluated at the end of the CPF exposure. Results suggest that CPF is bioconcentrated into axolotls and that the CPF internal concentrations are related with the observed inhibition activity of AChE (>50%) and CbE (≈ 50%). CPF concentration responsible of the inhibition of the 50% of AChE activity (IC50) was estimated in 0.04 mg CPF/L; however IC50 for CbE activity was not possible to calculate since inhibition levels were lower than 50%, results that suggest a higher resistance of CbE enzymatic activity to CPF. However, motor activity was a more sensitive endpoint to CPF poisoning since time that axolotls spent active and walking, frequency and speed of swimming, frequency of prey attack were reduced >90% of control groups. The motor activity alterations in the axolotl could be related with the registered esterases inhibition. Thus important alterations on axolotls were identified even at short time and low concentrations of CPF exposure. Also, it was possible to link biochemical responses as esterases activity with higher levels of biological organization as behavior. This study provides tools for the regulation of the

  19. The pelvic kidney of male Ambystoma maculatum (Amphibia, urodela, ambystomatidae) with special reference to the sexual collecting ducts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegel, Dustin S; Sever, David M; Aldridge, Robert D

    2010-12-01

    This study details the gross and microscopic anatomy of the pelvic kidney in male Ambystoma maculatum. The nephron of male Ambystoma maculatum is divided into six distinct regions leading sequentially away from a renal corpuscle: (1) neck segment, which communicates with the coelomic cavity via a ventrally positioned pleuroperitoneal funnel, (2) proximal tubule, (3) intermediate segment, (4) distal tubule, (5) collecting tubule, and (6) collecting duct. The proximal tubule is divided into a vacuolated proximal region and a distal lysosomic region. The basal plasma membrane is modified into intertwining microvillus lamellae. The epithelium of the distal tubule varies little along its length and is demarcated by columns of mitochondria with their long axes oriented perpendicular to the basal lamina. The distal tubule possesses highly interdigitating microvillus lamellae from the lateral membranes and pronounced foot processes of the basal membrane that are not intertwined, but perpendicular to the basal lamina. The collecting tubule is lined by an epithelium with dark and light cells. Light cells are similar to those observed in the distal tuble except with less mitochondria and microvillus lamellae of the lateral and basal plasma membrane. Dark cells possess dark euchromatic nuclei and are filled with numerous small mitochondria. The epithelium of the neck segment, pleuroperitoneal funnel, and intermediate segment is composed entirely of ciliated cells with cilia protruding from only the central portion of the apical plasma membrane. The collecting duct is lined by a highly secretory epithelium that produces numerous membrane bound granules that stain positively for neutral carbohydrates and proteins. Apically positioned ciliated cells are intercalated between secretory cells. The collecting ducts anastomose caudally and unite with the Wolffian duct via a common collecting duct. The Wolffian duct is secretory, but not to the extent of the collecting duct

  20. Mathematical Model of the Cupula-Endolymph System with Morphological Parameters for the Axolotl (Ambystoma tigrinum) Semicircular Canals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vega, Rosario; Alexandrov, Vladimir V; Alexandrova, Tamara B; Soto, Enrique

    2008-08-26

    By combining mathematical methods with the morphological analysis of the semicircular canals of the axolotl (Ambystoma tigrinum), a system of differential equations describing the mechanical coupling in the semicircular canals was obtained. The coefficients of this system have an explicit physiological meaning that allows for the introduction of morphological and dynamical parameters directly into the differential equations. The cupula of the semicircular canals was modeled both as a piston and as a membrane (diaphragm like), and the duct canals as toroids with two main regions: i) the semicircular canal duct and, ii) a larger diameter region corresponding to the ampulla and the utricle. The endolymph motion was described by the Navier-Stokes equations. The analysis of the model demonstrated that cupular behavior dynamics under periodic stimulation is equivalent in both the piston and the membrane cupular models, thus a general model in which the detailed cupular structure is not relevant was derived.

  1. Leucine-enkephalin-like immunoreactivity is localized in luteinizing hormone-producing cells in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) pituitary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Hirohumi; Yamamoto, Toshiharu

    2014-02-01

    In this study, we used immunohistochemical techniques to determine the cell type of leucine-enkephalin (Leu-ENK)-immunoreactive cells in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) pituitary. Immunoreactive cells were scattered throughout the pars distalis except for the dorso-caudal portion. These cells were immuno-positive for luteinizing hormone (LH), but they were immuno-negative for adrenocorticotrophic, growth, and thyroid-stimulating hormones, as well as prolactin. Immunoelectron microscopy demonstrated that Leu-ENK-like substance and LH co-localized within the same secretory granules. Leu-ENK secreted from gonadotrophs may participate in LH secretion in an autocrine fashion, and/or may participate in the release of sex steroids together with LH.

  2. Difference of the in vivo responsiveness to thyrotropin stimulation between the neotenic and metamorphosed axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum: failure of prolactin to block the thyrotropin-induced thyroxine release.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darras, V M; Kühn, E R

    1984-11-01

    Basal and TSH-induced plasma concentrations of T4 have been measured by radioimmunoassay in the neotenic and metamorphosed male axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum both before and after an ovine prolactin pretreatment. All injections are made into the vena abdominalis. Basal levels of T4 are low in neotenes (85 +/- 19 pg/ml) and somewhat higher in metamorphosed Ambystoma (171 +/- 39 pg/ml), but are increased during metamorphosis (1094 +/- 138 pg/ml). Following injection of 5 mU bovine TSH circulating levels of T4 are raised about 4 times in neotenes, but more than 50 times in metamorphose animals. Three intravenous injections, each of 640 mU prolactin and given, respectively, 24 and 13 hr before and simultaneously with 5 mU TSH, do not inhibit the TSH-induced release in both experimental groups. In the metamorphosed Ambystoma again a more than 50-fold T4 increase is present, whereas in neotenes a 10-fold TSH-induced T4 release is seen, which is more pronounced than before the prolactin treatment. It is concluded that in A. mexicanum ovine prolactin does not block a TSH-induced T4 release and that any antagonistic action with thyroid hormones is not mediated through the thyroid gland.

  3. Two-eyed versus one-eyed salamanders: does binocularity enhance the optically evoked skin blanching reactions of Ambystoma larvae?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pietsch, P; Schneider, C W

    1990-08-01

    A wide variety of visual functions show increases attributable to binocularity, and the question pursued here was whether a second eye enhances the visually stimulated skin blanching reaction of the larval salamander. Dermal melanin spots (produced by the aggregations of melanosomes within dermal melanophores and which contract or expand to lighten or darken the skin) were measured in eyeless (controls), one-eyed and two-eyed Ambystoma punctatum larvae after chronic adaptation of the subjects to a white background (i.e., stimulus conditions for maximum blanching). The eyeless subjects showed no blanching (thus remained dark) in white cups, and they exhibited melanin spots 7 or 8 times the size of those of the other two groups. All one-eyed or two-eyed subjects exhibited blanching reactions; planometric comparison revealed a significantly larger melanin spot area for one-eyed than for two-eyed animals; i.e., the binocular condition permitted greater contraction of the pigment spots than did the monocular condition. Analytical data compared favorably with independently ascertained pigmentation indices. The results indicate that a second eye quantitatively elevates the blanching maximum of a larval salamander.

  4. Effects of atrazine on egg masses of the yellow-spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) and its endosymbiotic alga (Oophila amblystomatis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baxter, Leilan; Brain, Richard A; Hosmer, Alan J; Nema, Mohini; Müller, Kirsten M; Solomon, Keith R; Hanson, Mark L

    2015-11-01

    Embryonic growth of the yellow-spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) is enhanced by the presence of the green alga Oophila amblystomatis, in the egg capsule. To further assess potential impacts of herbicides on this relationship, A. maculatum egg masses were exposed to atrazine (0-338 μg/L) until hatching (up to 66 days). Exposure to atrazine reduced PSII yield of the symbiotic algae in a concentration-dependent manner, but did not significantly affect visible algal growth or any metrics associated with salamander development. Algal cells were also cultured in the laboratory for toxicity testing. In the 96-h growth inhibition test (0-680 μg/L), ECx values were generally greater than those reported for standard algal test species. Complete recovery of growth rates occurred within 96-h of transferring cells to untreated media. Overall, development of A. maculatum embryos was not affected by exposure to atrazine at concentrations and durations exceeding those found in the environment.

  5. Molecular cloning, sequence analysis and homology modeling of the first caudata amphibian antifreeze-like protein in axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Songyan; Gao, Jiuxiang; Lu, Yiling; Cai, Shasha; Qiao, Xue; Wang, Yipeng; Yu, Haining

    2013-08-01

    Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) refer to a class of polypeptides that are produced by certain vertebrates, plants, fungi, and bacteria and which permit their survival in subzero environments. In this study, we report the molecular cloning, sequence analysis and three-dimensional structure of the axolotl antifreeze-like protein (AFLP) by homology modeling of the first caudate amphibian AFLP. We constructed a full-length spleen cDNA library of axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). An EST having highest similarity (∼42%) with freeze-responsive liver protein Li16 from Rana sylvatica was identified, and the full-length cDNA was subsequently obtained by RACE-PCR. The axolotl antifreeze-like protein sequence represents an open reading frame for a putative signal peptide and the mature protein composed of 93 amino acids. The calculated molecular mass and the theoretical isoelectric point (pl) of this mature protein were 10128.6 Da and 8.97, respectively. The molecular characterization of this gene and its deduced protein were further performed by detailed bioinformatics analysis. The three-dimensional structure of current AFLP was predicted by homology modeling, and the conserved residues required for functionality were identified. The homology model constructed could be of use for effective drug design. This is the first report of an antifreeze-like protein identified from a caudate amphibian.

  6. Highly restricted diversity of TCR delta chains of the amphibian Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) in peripheral tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    André, Sébastien; Kerfourn, Fabienne; Affaticati, Pierre; Guerci, Aline; Ravassard, Philippe; Fellah, Julien S

    2007-06-01

    Gammadelta T cells localize at mammalian epithelial surfaces to exert both protective and regulatory roles in response to infections. We have previously characterized the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) T cell receptor delta (TRD) chain. In this study, TRD repertoires in spleen, liver, intestine and skin from larvae, pre-adult and adult axolotls were examined and compared to the thymic TRD repertoire. A TRDV transcript without N/D diversity, TRDV1S1-TRDJ1, dominates the TRD repertoires until sexual maturation. In adult tissues, this canonical transcript is replaced by another dominant TRDV1S1-TRDJ1 transcript. In the thymus, these two transcripts are detected early in development. Our results suggest that gammadelta T cells that express the canonical TRDV1S1-TRDJ1 transcript emerge from the thymus and colonize the peripheral tissues, where they are selectively expanded by recurrent ligands. This particular situation is probably related to the neotenic state and the slow development of the axolotl. In thymectomized axolotls, TRD repertoires appear different from those of normal axolotls, suggesting that extrathymic gammadelta T cell differentiation could occur. Gene expression analysis showed the importance of the gut in T cell development.

  7. Crystal structure of axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) liver bile acid-binding protein bound to cholic and oleic acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capaldi, Stefano; Guariento, Mara; Perduca, Massimiliano; Di Pietro, Santiago M; Santomé, José A; Monaco, Hugo L

    2006-07-01

    The family of the liver bile acid-binding proteins (L-BABPs), formerly called liver basic fatty acid-binding proteins (Lb-FABPs) shares fold and sequence similarity with the paralogous liver fatty acid-binding proteins (L-FABPs) but has a different stoichiometry and specificity of ligand binding. This article describes the first X-ray structure of a member of the L-BABP family, axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) L-BABP, bound to two different ligands: cholic and oleic acid. The protein binds one molecule of oleic acid in a position that is significantly different from that of either of the two molecules that bind to rat liver FABP. The stoichiometry of binding of cholate is of two ligands per protein molecule, as observed in chicken L-BABP. The cholate molecule that binds buried most deeply into the internal cavity overlaps well with the analogous bound to chicken L-BABP, whereas the second molecule, which interacts with the first only through hydrophobic contacts, is more external and exposed to the solvent.

  8. Identification of differentially expressed thyroid hormone responsive genes from the brain of the Mexican Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huggins, P; Johnson, C K; Schoergendorfer, A; Putta, S; Bathke, A C; Stromberg, A J; Voss, S R

    2012-01-01

    The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) presents an excellent model to investigate mechanisms of brain development that are conserved among vertebrates. In particular, metamorphic changes of the brain can be induced in free-living aquatic juveniles and adults by simply adding thyroid hormone (T4) to rearing water. Whole brains were sampled from juvenile A. mexicanum that were exposed to 0, 8, and 18 days of 50 nM T4, and these were used to isolate RNA and make normalized cDNA libraries for 454 DNA sequencing. A total of 1,875,732 high quality cDNA reads were assembled with existing ESTs to obtain 5884 new contigs for human RefSeq protein models, and to develop a custom Affymetrix gene expression array (Amby_002) with approximately 20,000 probe sets. The Amby_002 array was used to identify 303 transcripts that differed statistically (p1.5) as a function of days of T4 treatment. Further statistical analyses showed that Amby_002 performed concordantly in comparison to an existing, small format expression array. This study introduces a new A. mexicanum microarray resource for the community and the first lists of T4-responsive genes from the brain of a salamander amphibian.

  9. Glucose transporter distribution in the vessels of the central nervous system of the axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum (Urodela: Ambystomatidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazzari, Maurizio; Bettini, Simone; Ciani, Franco; Franceschini, Valeria

    2008-10-01

    The GLUT-1 isoform of the glucose transporter is commonly considered a reliable molecular marker of blood-brain barrier endothelia in the neural vasculature organized in a three-dimensional network of single vessels. The central nervous system of the axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum is characterized by a vascular architecture that contains both single and paired vessels. The presence and distribution of the GLUT-1 transporter are studied in this urodele using both immunoperoxidase histochemistry and immunogold technique. Light microscopy reveals immunopositivity in both parenchymal and meningeal vessels. The transverse-sectioned pairs of vessels do not show the same size. Furthermore, in the same pair, the two elements often differ in diameter. The main regions of the central nervous system show a different percentage of the paired structures. Only immunogold cytochemistry reveals different staining intensity in the two adjoined elements of a vascular pair. Colloidal gold particles show an asymmetric distribution in the endothelia of both single and paired vessels. These particles are more numerous on the abluminal surface than on the luminal one. The particle density is calculated in both vascular types. The different values could indicate functional differences between single and paired vessels and between the two adjoined elements of a pair, regarding glucose transport.

  10. Muscular derivatives of the cranialmost somites revealed by long-term fate mapping in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piekarski, Nadine; Olsson, Lennart

    2007-01-01

    The fate of single somites has not been analyzed from a comparative perspective with modern cell-marking methods. Most of what we know is based on work using quail-chick chimeras. Consequently, to what degree cell fate has been conserved despite the anatomical differences among vertebrates is unknown. We have analyzed the cell fate of the cranialmost somites, with the focus on somite two, in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). Somite cells were marked by injection of dextran-fluorescein and detected using immunofluorescence after 2 months of development in paraffin sections. Our data confirm and extend earlier studies based on classical histology in salamanders. We show that somite two contributes to different muscles, skeletal elements, and connective tissues of the head and cranial trunk region. Cells from somites two and three migrate latero-ventrally and contribute to the hypobranchial muscles mm. geniohyoideus and rectus cervicis. We provide evidence that the specific formation of the hypobranchial musculature from ventral processes of the somites might be variable in different classes of vertebrates. We further demonstrate that mm. cucullaris and dilatator laryngis, which were earlier thought to have a branchial origin, arise from somitic material in a manner very similar to the findings in quail-chick chimeras. Our findings indicate that the pattern of somitic derivatives is highly conserved within tetrapods.

  11. Initial characterization of the large genome of the salamander Ambystoma mexicanum using shotgun and laser capture chromosome sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keinath, Melissa C; Timoshevskiy, Vladimir A; Timoshevskaya, Nataliya Y; Tsonis, Panagiotis A; Voss, S Randal; Smith, Jeramiah J

    2015-11-10

    Vertebrates exhibit substantial diversity in genome size, and some of the largest genomes exist in species that uniquely inform diverse areas of basic and biomedical research. For example, the salamander Ambystoma mexicanum (the Mexican axolotl) is a model organism for studies of regeneration, development and genome evolution, yet its genome is ~10× larger than the human genome. As part of a hierarchical approach toward improving genome resources for the species, we generated 600 Gb of shotgun sequence data and developed methods for sequencing individual laser-captured chromosomes. Based on these data, we estimate that the A. mexicanum genome is ~32 Gb. Notably, as much as 19 Gb of the A. mexicanum genome can potentially be considered single copy, which presumably reflects the evolutionary diversification of mobile elements that accumulated during an ancient episode of genome expansion. Chromosome-targeted sequencing permitted the development of assemblies within the constraints of modern computational platforms, allowed us to place 2062 genes on the two smallest A. mexicanum chromosomes and resolves key events in the history of vertebrate genome evolution. Our analyses show that the capture and sequencing of individual chromosomes is likely to provide valuable information for the systematic sequencing, assembly and scaffolding of large genomes.

  12. Molecular cloning, sequence analysis and phylogeny of first caudata g-type lysozyme in axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Haining; Gao, Jiuxiang; Lu, Yiling; Guang, Huijuan; Cai, Shasha; Zhang, Songyan; Wang, Yipeng

    2013-11-01

    Lysozymes are key proteins that play important roles in innate immune defense in many animal phyla by breaking down the bacterial cell-walls. In this study, we report the molecular cloning, sequence analysis and phylogeny of the first caudate amphibian g-lysozyme: a full-length spleen cDNA library from axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). A goose-type (g-lysozyme) EST was identified and the full-length cDNA was obtained using RACE-PCR. The axolotl g-lysozyme sequence represents an open reading frame for a putative signal peptide and the mature protein composed of 184 amino acids. The calculated molecular mass and the theoretical isoelectric point (pl) of this mature protein are 21523.0 Da and 4.37, respectively. Expression of g-lysozyme mRNA is predominantly found in skin, with lower levels in spleen, liver, muscle, and lung. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that caudate amphibian g-lysozyme had distinct evolution pattern for being juxtaposed with not only anura amphibian, but also with the fish, bird and mammal. Although the first complete cDNA sequence for caudate amphibian g-lysozyme is reported in the present study, clones encoding axolotl's other functional immune molecules in the full-length cDNA library will have to be further sequenced to gain insight into the fundamental aspects of antibacterial mechanisms in caudate.

  13. Low submetamorphic doses of dexamethasone and thyroxine induce complete metamorphosis in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) when injected together.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kühn, Eduard R; De Groef, Bert; Grommen, Sylvia V H; Van der Geyten, Serge; Darras, Veerle M

    2004-06-01

    Entanglement of functions between the adrenal (or interrenal) and thyroid axis has been well described for all vertebrates and can be tracked down up to the level of gene expression. Both thyroid hormones and corticosteroids may induce morphological changes leading to metamorphosis climax in the neotenic Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). In a first series of experiments, metamorphosis was induced with an injection of 25 microg T(4) on three alternate days as judged by a decrease in body weight and tail height together with complete gill resorption. This injection also resulted in elevated plasma concentrations of T(3) and corticosterone. Previous results have indicated that the same dose of dexamethasone (DEX) is ineffective in this regard (Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 127 (2002) 157). In a second series of experiments low doses of T(4) (0.5 microg) or DEX (5 microg) were ineffective to induce morphological changes. However, when these submetamorphic doses were injected together, morphological changes were observed within one week leading to complete metamorphosis. It is concluded that thyroid hormones combined with corticosteroids are essential for metamorphosis in the axolotl and that only high doses of either thyroid hormone or corticosteroid can induce morphological changes when injected separately.

  14. Molecular and immunohistochemical analyses of cardiac troponin T during cardiac development in the Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, C; Pietras, K M; Sferrazza, G F; Jia, P; Athauda, G; Rueda-de-Leon, E; Rveda-de-Leon, E; Maier, J A; Dube, D K; Lemanski, S L; Lemanski, L F

    2007-01-01

    The Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, is an excellent animal model for studying heart development because it carries a naturally occurring recessive genetic mutation, designated gene c, for cardiac nonfunction. The double recessive mutants (c/c) fail to form organized myofibrils in the cardiac myoblasts resulting in hearts that fail to beat. Tropomyosin expression patterns have been studied in detail and show dramatically decreased expression in the hearts of homozygous mutant embryos. Because of the direct interaction between tropomyosin and troponin T (TnT), and the crucial functions of TnT in the regulation of striated muscle contraction, we have expanded our studies on this animal model to characterize the expression of the TnT gene in cardiac muscle throughout normal axolotl development as well as in mutant axolotls. In addition, we have succeeded in cloning the full-length cardiac troponin T (cTnT) cDNA from axolotl hearts. Confocal microscopy has shown a substantial, but reduced, expression of TnT protein in the mutant hearts when compared to normal during embryonic development.

  15. The effects of simulated solar UVB radiation on early developmental stages of the Northwestern Salamander (Ambystoma gracile) from three lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calfee, Robin D.; Little, Edward E.; Pearl, Christopher A.; Hoffman, Robert L.

    2010-01-01

    Solar ultraviolet radiation (UV) has received much attention as a factor that could play a role in amphibian population declines. UV can be hazardous to some amphibians, but the resultant effects depend on a variety of environmental and behavioral factors. In this study, the potential effects of UV on the Northwestern Salamander, Ambystoma gracile, from three lakes were assessed in the laboratory using a solar simulator. We measured the survival of embryos and the survival and growth of larvae exposed to four UV treatments in controlled laboratory studies, the UV absorbance of egg jelly, oviposition depths in the lakes, and UV absorbance in water samples from the three lakes. Hatching success of embryos decreased in the higher UV treatments as compared to the control treatments, and growth of surviving larvae was significantly reduced in the higher UVB irradiance treatments. The egg jelly exhibited a small peak of absorbance within the UVB range (290–320 nm). The magnitude of UV absorbance differed among egg jellies from the three lakes. Oviposition depths at the three sites averaged 1.10 m below the water surface. Approximately 66% of surface UVB radiation was attenuated at 10-cm depth in all three lakes. Results of this study indicate that larvae may be sensitive to UVB exposure under laboratory conditions; however, in field conditions the depths of egg deposition in the lakes, absorbance of UV radiation by the water column, and the potential for behavioral adjustments may mitigate severe effects of UV radiation.

  16. Effects of dexamethasone treatment on iodothyronine deiodinase activities and on metamorphosis-related morphological changes in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darras, Veerle M; Van der Geyten, Serge; Cox, Clara; Segers, Ilse B; De Groef, Bert; Kühn, Eduard R

    2002-06-15

    In amphibians, there is a close interaction between the interrenal and the thyroidal axes. Hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing hormone or related peptides stimulate thyroidal activity by increasing thyrotropin synthesis and release, while corticosterone accelerates both spontaneous and thyroid hormone-induced metamorphosis. One of the mechanisms that is thought to contribute to this acceleration is a corticosterone-induced change in peripheral deiodinating activity. The present experiments were designed to investigate further the effects of glucocorticoid treatment on amphibian deiodinase activities and to explore the possible role of these effects in metamorphosis. Neotenic axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) were treated either acutely or chronically with dexamethasone (DEX) and changes in type II and type III iodothyronine deiodinase (D2 and D3) activities were studied in liver, kidney, and brain. In addition, gill length, tail height, and body weight were measured at regular intervals in the chronically treated animals in search of metamorphosis-related changes. A single injection of 50 microg DEX decreased hepatic D3 activity (6-48 h) while it increased D2 activity in brain (6-48 h) and to a lesser extent in kidney (24 h). These changes were accompanied by an increase in plasma T(3) levels (48 h). Samples taken during chronic treatment with 20 or 100 microg DEX showed that both hepatic D2 and D3 activities were decreased on day 26, while renal D3 activity was decreased but only in the 20 microg dose group. All other deiodinase activities were not different from those in control animals. At 25 days, all DEX-treated axolotls showed a clear reduction in gill length, tail height, and body weight, changes typical of metamorphosis. Prolongation of the treatment up to 48 days resulted in complete gill resorption by days 44-60. Although probably several mechanisms contribute to these DEX-induced metamorphic changes, the interaction with thyroid function via a sustained

  17. Terminal nerve-derived neuropeptide y modulates physiological responses in the olfactory epithelium of hungry axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mousley, Angela; Polese, Gianluca; Marks, Nikki J; Eisthen, Heather L

    2006-07-19

    The vertebrate brain actively regulates incoming sensory information, effectively filtering input and focusing attention toward environmental stimuli that are most relevant to the animal's behavioral context or physiological state. Such centrifugal modulation has been shown to play an important role in processing in the retina and cochlea, but has received relatively little attention in olfaction. The terminal nerve, a cranial nerve that extends underneath the lamina propria surrounding the olfactory epithelium, displays anatomical and neurochemical characteristics that suggest that it modulates activity in the olfactory epithelium. Using immunocytochemical techniques, we demonstrate that neuropeptide Y (NPY) is abundantly present in the terminal nerve in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), an aquatic salamander. Because NPY plays an important role in regulating appetite and hunger in many vertebrates, we investigated the possibility that NPY modulates activity in the olfactory epithelium in relation to the animal's hunger level. We therefore characterized the full-length NPY gene from axolotls to enable synthesis of authentic axolotl NPY for use in electrophysiological experiments. We find that axolotl NPY modulates olfactory epithelial responses evoked by l-glutamic acid, a food-related odorant, but only in hungry animals. Similarly, whole-cell patch-clamp recordings demonstrate that bath application of axolotl NPY enhances the magnitude of a tetrodotoxin-sensitive inward current, but only in hungry animals. These results suggest that expression or activity of NPY receptors in the olfactory epithelium may change with hunger level, and that terminal nerve-derived peptides modulate activity in the olfactory epithelium in response to an animal's changing behavioral and physiological circumstances.

  18. Role of cranial neural crest cells in visceral arch muscle positioning and morphogenesis in the Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ericsson, Rolf; Cerny, Robert; Falck, Pierre; Olsson, Lennart

    2004-10-01

    The role of cranial neural crest cells in the formation of visceral arch musculature was investigated in the Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum. DiI (1,1'-dioctadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine, perchlorate) labeling and green fluorescent protein (GFP) mRNA injections combined with unilateral transplantations of neural folds showed that neural crest cells contribute to the connective tissues but not the myofibers of developing visceral arch muscles in the mandibular, hyoid, and branchial arches. Extirpations of individual cranial neural crest streams demonstrated that neural crest cells are necessary for correct morphogenesis of visceral arch muscles. These do, however, initially develop in their proper positions also in the absence of cranial neural crest. Visceral arch muscles forming in the absence of neural crest cells start to differentiate at their origins but fail to extend toward their insertions and may have a frayed appearance. Our data indicate that visceral arch muscle positioning is controlled by factors that do not have a neural crest origin. We suggest that the cranial neural crest-derived connective tissues provide directional guidance important for the proper extension of the cranial muscles and the subsequent attachment to the insertion on the correct cartilage. In a comparative context, our data from the Mexican axolotl support the view that the cranial neural crest plays a fundamental role in the development of not only the skeleton of the vertebrate head but also in the morphogenesis of the cranial muscles and that this might be a primitive feature of cranial development in vertebrates.

  19. Effects of simulated solar UVB radiation on early developmental stages of the northwestern salamander (Ambystoma gracile) from three lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calfee, R.D.; Little, E.E.; Pearl, C.A.; Hoffman, R.L.

    2010-01-01

    Solar ultraviolet radiation (UV) has received much attention as a factor that could play a role in amphibian population declines. UV can be hazardous to some amphibians, but the resultant effects depend on a variety of environmental and behavioral factors. In this study, the potential effects of UV on the Northwestern Salamander, Ambystoma gracile, from three lakes were assessed in the laboratory using a solar simulator. We measured the survival of embryos and the survival and growth of larvae exposed to four UV treatments in controlled laboratory studies, the UV absorbance of egg jelly, oviposition depths in the lakes, and UV absorbance in water samples from the three lakes. Hatching success of embryos decreased in the higher UV treatments as compared to the control treatments, and growth of surviving larvae was significantly reduced in the higher UVB irradiance treatments. The egg jelly exhibited a small peak of absorbance within the UVB range (290-320 nm). The magnitude of UV absorbance differed among egg jellies from the three lakes. Oviposition depths at the three sites averaged 1.10 m below the water surface. Approximately 66 of surface UVB radiation was attenuated at 10-cm depth in all three lakes. Results of this study indicate that larvae may be sensitive to UVB exposure under laboratory conditions; however, in field conditions the depths of egg deposition in the lakes, absorbance of UV radiation by the water column, and the potential for behavioral adjustments may mitigate severe effects of UV radiation. Copyright 2010 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

  20. Effect of thyroid hormone concentration on the transcriptional response underlying induced metamorphosis in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuels Amy K

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Thyroid hormones (TH induce gene expression programs that orchestrate amphibian metamorphosis. In contrast to anurans, many salamanders do not undergo metamorphosis in nature. However, they can be induced to undergo metamorphosis via exposure to thyroxine (T4. We induced metamorphosis in juvenile Mexican axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum using 5 and 50 nM T4, collected epidermal tissue from the head at four time points (Days 0, 2, 12, 28, and used microarray analysis to quantify mRNA abundances. Results Individuals reared in the higher T4 concentration initiated morphological and transcriptional changes earlier and completed metamorphosis by Day 28. In contrast, initiation of metamorphosis was delayed in the lower T4 concentration and none of the individuals completed metamorphosis by Day 28. We identified 402 genes that were statistically differentially expressed by ≥ two-fold between T4 treatments at one or more non-Day 0 sampling times. To complement this analysis, we used linear and quadratic regression to identify 542 and 709 genes that were differentially expressed by ≥ two-fold in the 5 and 50 nM T4 treatments, respectively. Conclusion We found that T4 concentration affected the timing of gene expression and the shape of temporal gene expression profiles. However, essentially all of the identified genes were similarly affected by 5 and 50 nM T4. We discuss genes and biological processes that appear to be common to salamander and anuran metamorphosis, and also highlight clear transcriptional differences. Our results show that gene expression in axolotls is diverse and precise, and that axolotls provide new insights about amphibian metamorphosis.

  1. Thyroxine and triiodothyronine in plasma and thyroids of the neotenic and metamorphosed axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum: influence of TRH injections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, G F; Michielsen, R P; Kühn, E R

    1988-04-01

    Circulating levels of T3 and T4, as well as T3 and T4 content of the thyroid glands were measured by radioimmunoassay in the neotenic and metamorphosed axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum. In the two experiments which were performed plasma T4 concentrations were more elevated in metamorphosed axolotls, especially in the first experiment (2.12 +/- 0.40 ng/ml vs. 369 +/- 30 pg/ml). T3 plasma values which were only estimated in the second experiment were about five times higher in metamorphosed animals (63.2 +/- 7.4 pg/ml vs. 12.5 +/- 0.8 pg/ml). Also the thyroid hormone content of the glands was higher after metamorphosis. Nevertheless the neotenic gland still contained considerable amounts of T3 (14.7 +/- 1.8 ng and 48.3 +/- 4.8 ng/thyroid, respectively, in the first and second experiment) and T4 (530 +/- 61 ng; 2173 +/- 291 ng/thyroid). Because of the higher T3/T4 ratio found in the plasma compared to the thyroid gland, it was suggested that circulating T3 may be derived partly from peripheral T4 conversion, mainly after metamorphosis. An intravenous injection of 10 micrograms synthetic TRH was able to induce a very significant increase of the plasma T4 concentration (which was maintained during 24 hr) in the metamorphosed axolotls of the first experiment, however, not in those of the second experiment nor in the neotenic animals. Following an injection of 10 mU bovine TSH (first experiment) circulating levels of T4 were raised in both groups. The opposing TRH results could be related with the different control levels of T4 in the two experiments. However, the results indicate that TRH is capable of functioning as a possible thyrotropin-releasing factor in the metamorphosed axolotl.

  2. Regeneración miocárdica en Ambystoma mexicanum después de lesión quirúrgica

    OpenAIRE

    Vargas-González,Alvaro; Prado-Zayago,Esteban; León-Olea,Martha; Guarner-Lans,Verónica; Cano-Martínez,Agustina

    2005-01-01

    Se realizó resección ventricular en el corazón de Ambystoma mexicanum, se evaluó si la restitución del tejido resulta de hipertrofia o de hiperplasia. Por medio de una tinción tricrómica se encontró que 5 días después del daño en el espacio de la resección se encontró un coágulo rodeado de fibras de colágena (83 ± 6%), músculo (10 ± 3%) y zonas sin tejido (7 ± 2%). Una proporción de 50 ± 4 y 90 ± 2% correspondió a tejido muscular 10 y 30 días después de la lesión. La tinción con bis-Benzimida...

  3. Quantitative evaluation of morpholino-mediated protein knockdown of GFP, MSX1, and PAX7 during tail regeneration in Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnapp, Esther; Tanaka, Elly M; Tamaka, Elly M

    2005-01-01

    Vertebrate regeneration is a fascinating but poorly understood biological phenomena. Urodele amphibians such as Ambystoma mexicanum (the axolotl) can functionally regenerate complex body structures such as the limb and tail, including the spinal cord, throughout life. So far, molecular studies on regeneration have been limited due to the paucity of tools for knocking-down gene and protein function. In this article, we quantitatively assessed the ability of morpholinos to specifically down-regulate protein expression in both cultured urodele cells and in vivo. We focused on the down-regulation of green fluorescent protein and two axolotl proteins, MSX1 and PAX7. Our data show that the expression of these proteins can be efficiently reduced by morpholinos. MSX1 has been hypothesized to be involved in muscle dedifferentiation based on experiments using cultured myotubes. Our studies in in vivo muscle fibers so far have shown no influence of overexpressing or down-regulating MSX1 on the dedifferentiation process.

  4. A populational survey of 45S rDNA polymorphism in the Jefferson salamander Ambystoma jeffersonianum revealed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH

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    Jinzhong FU

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available The chromosomal localization of 45S ribosomal RNA genes in Ambystoma jeffersonianum was determined by fluorescence in situ hybridization with 18S rDNA fragment as a probe (FISH-rDNA. Our results revealed the presence of rDNA polymorphism among A.jeffersonianum populations in terms of number, location and FISH signal intensity on the chromosomes. Nine rDNA cytotypes were found in ten geographically isolated populations and most of them contained derivative rDNA sites. Our preliminary study provides strong indication of karyotypic diversification of A.jeffersonianum that is demonstrated by intraspecific variation of 45S rDNA cytotypes. rDNA cytotype polymorphism has been described in many other caudate amphibians. We predict that habitat isolation, low dispersal ability and decline of effective population size could facilitate the fixation and accumulation of variable rDNA cytotypes during their chromosome evolution.

  5. A populational survey of 45S rDNA polymorphism in the Jefferson salamander Ambystoma jeffersonianum revealed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ke BI; James P.BOGART; Jinzhong FU

    2009-01-01

    The chromosomal localization of 45S ribosomal RNA genes in Ambystoma jeffersonianum was determined by fluorescence in situ hybridization with 18S rDNA fragment as a probe (FISH-rDNA). Our results revealed the presence of rDNA polymorphism among A.jeffersonianum populations in terms of number, location and FISH signal intensity on the chromosomes. Nine rDNA cytotypes were found in ten geographically isolated populations and most of them contained derivative rDNA sites. Our preliminary study provides strong indication of karyotypic diversification of A.jeffersonianum that is demonstrated by intraspecific variation of 45S rDNA cytotypes. rDNA cytotype polymorphism has been described in many other caudate amphibians. We predict that habitat isolation, low dispersal ability and decline of effective population size could facilitate the fixation and accumulation of variable rDNA cytotypes during their chromosome evolution [Current Zoology 55(2):145-149,2009].

  6. The effect of fiber-type heterogeneity on optimized work and power output of hindlimb muscles of the salamander Ambystoma tigrinum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashley-Ross, M A; Barker, J U

    2002-09-01

    Most vertebrate muscles are composed of a mixture of fiber types. However, studies of muscle mechanics have concentrated on homogeneous bundles of fibers. Hindlimb muscles of the tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum, present an excellent system to explore the consequences of fiber heterogeneity. Isometric twitches and work loops were obtained in vitro from two muscles, the m. iliotibialis pars posterior (heterogeneous, containing types I, IIa and IIb fibers) and the m. iliofibularis (nearly homogeneous for type IIa fibers). Maximal isometric twitch and tetanic stresses in m. iliotibialis posterior were significantly greater than in iliofibularis. Work loops were obtained over a range of frequencies (0.5-3.0 Hz) and strains (2-6% muscle length) that encompassed the observed ranges in vivo. Work per cycle from the homogeneous iliofibularis declined from 1.5-3.0 Hz, while that from the heterogeneous m. iliotibialis posterior increased from 0.5 Hz to 2.5 Hz and declined at 3.0 Hz. Power output from the iliofibularis rose with frequency to at least 3 Hz; power from the iliotibialis posterior rose with frequency to 2.5 Hz and declined thereafter. Mass-specific work per cycle and power output were higher in iliofibularis than iliotibialis posterior over most frequencies and strains tested.

  7. Cranial muscle development in the model organism ambystoma mexicanum: implications for tetrapod and vertebrate comparative and evolutionary morphology and notes on ontogeny and phylogeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziermann, Janine M; Diogo, Rui

    2013-07-01

    There is still confusion about the homology of several cranial muscles in salamanders with those of other vertebrates. This is true, in part, because of the fact that many muscles present in early ontogeny of amphibians disappear during development and specifically during metamorphosis. Resolving this confusion is important for the understanding of the comparative and evolutionary morphology of vertebrates and tetrapods because amphibians are the phylogenetically most plesiomorphic tetrapods, concerning for example their myology, and include two often used model organisms, Xenopus laevis (anuran) and Ambystoma mexicanum (urodele). Here we provide the first detailed report of the cranial muscle development in axolotl from early ontogenetic stages to the adult stage. We describe different and complementary types of general muscle morphogenetic gradients in the head: from anterior to posterior, from lateral to medial, and from origin to insertion. Furthermore, even during the development of neotenic salamanders such as axolotls, various larval muscles become indistinct, contradicting the commonly accepted view that during ontogeny the tendency is mostly toward the differentiation of muscles. We provide an updated comparison between these muscles and the muscles of other vertebrates, a discussion of the homologies and evolution, and show that the order in which the muscles appear during axolotl ontogeny is in general similar to their appearance in phylogeny (e.g. differentiation of adductor mandibulae muscles from one anlage to four muscles), with only a few remarkable exceptions, as for example the dilatator laryngis that appears evolutionary later but in the development before the intermandibularis.

  8. Analysis of the expression and function of Wnt-5a and Wnt-5b in developing and regenerating axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) limbs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosh, Sukla; Roy, Stéphane; Séguin, Carl; Bryant, Susan V; Gardiner, David M

    2008-05-01

    Urodele amphibians are unique adult vertebrates because they are able to regenerate body parts after amputation. Studies of urodele limb regeneration, the key model system for vertebrate regeneration, have led to an understanding of the origin of blastema cells and the importance of positional interactions between blastema cells in the control of growth and pattern formation. Progress is now being made in the identification of the signaling pathways that regulate dedifferentiation, blastema morphogenesis, growth and pattern formation. Members of the Wnt family of secreted proteins are expressed in developing and regenerating limbs, and have the potential to control growth, pattern formation and differentiation. We have studied the expression of two non-canonical Wnt genes, Wnt-5a and Wnt-5b. We report that they are expressed in equivalent patterns during limb development and limb regeneration in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), and during limb development in other tetrapods, implying conservation of function. Our analysis of the effects of ectopic Wnt-5a expression is consistent with the hypothesis that canonical Wnt signaling functions during the early stages of regeneration to control the dedifferentiation of stump cells giving rise to the regeneration-competent cells of the blastema.

  9. Corticotropin-releasing hormone-mediated metamorphosis in the neotenic axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum: synergistic involvement of thyroxine and corticoids on brain type II deiodinase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kühn, Eduard R; De Groef, Bert; Van der Geyten, Serge; Darras, Veerle M

    2005-08-01

    In the present study, morphological changes leading to complete metamorphosis have been induced in the neotenic axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum using a submetamorphic dose of T(4) together with an injection of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH). An injection of CRH alone is ineffective in this regard presumably due to a lack of thyrotropic stimulation. Using this low hormone profile for induction of metamorphosis, the deiodinating enzymes D2 and D3 known to be present in amphibians were measured in liver and brain 24h following an intraperitoneal injection. An injection of T(4) alone did not influence liver nor brain D2 and D3, but dexamethasone (DEX) or CRH alone or in combination with T(4) decreased liver D2 and D3. Brain D2 activity was slightly increased with a higher dose of DEX, though CRH did not have this effect. A profound synergistic effect occurred when T(4) and DEX or CRH were injected together, in the dose range leading to metamorphosis, increasing brain D2 activity more than fivefold. This synergistic effect was not found in the liver. It is concluded that brain T(3) availability may play an important role for the onset of metamorphosis in the neotenic axolotl.

  10. An Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor from the Salamander Ambystoma mexicanum Exhibits Low Sensitivity to 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoots, Jenny; Fraccalvieri, Domenico; Franks, Diana G; Denison, Michael S; Hahn, Mark E; Bonati, Laura; Powell, Wade H

    2015-06-02

    Structural features of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) can underlie species- and population-specific differences in its affinity for 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). These differences often explain variations in TCDD toxicity. Frogs are relatively insensitive to dioxin, and Xenopus AHRs bind TCDD with low affinity. Weak TCDD binding results from the combination of three residues in the ligand-binding domain: A354 and A370, and N325. Here we sought to determine whether this mechanism of weak TCDD binding is shared by other amphibian AHRs. We isolated an AHR cDNA from the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). The encoded polypeptide contains identical residues at positions that confer low TCDD affinity to X. laevis AHRs (A364, A380, and N335), and homology modeling predicts they protrude into the binding cavity. Axolotl AHR bound one-tenth the TCDD of mouse AHR in velocity sedimentation analysis, and in transactivation assays, the EC50 for TCDD was 23 nM, similar to X. laevis AHR1β (27 nM) and greater than AHR containing the mouse ligand-binding domain (0.08 nM). Sequence, modeled structure, and function indicate that axolotl AHR binds TCDD weakly, predicting that A. mexicanum lacks sensitivity toTCDD toxicity. We hypothesize that this characteristic of axolotl and Xenopus AHRs arose in a common ancestor of the Caudata and Anura.

  11. Axolotl hemoglobin: cDNA-derived amino acid sequences of two alpha globins and a beta globin from an adult Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shishikura, Fumio; Takeuchi, Hiro-aki; Nagai, Takatoshi

    2005-11-01

    Erythrocytes of the adult axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, have multiple hemoglobins. We separated and purified two kinds of hemoglobin, termed major hemoglobin (Hb M) and minor hemoglobin (Hb m), from a five-year-old male by hydrophobic interaction column chromatography on Alkyl Superose. The hemoglobins have two distinct alpha type globin polypeptides (alphaM and alpham) and a common beta globin polypeptide, all of which were purified in FPLC on a reversed-phase column after S-pyridylethylation. The complete amino acid sequences of the three globin chains were determined separately using nucleotide sequencing with the assistance of protein sequencing. The mature globin molecules were composed of 141 amino acid residues for alphaM globin, 143 for alpham globin and 146 for beta globin. Comparing primary structures of the five kinds of axolotl globins, including two previously established alpha type globins from the same species, with other known globins of amphibians and representatives of other vertebrates, we constructed phylogenetic trees for amphibian hemoglobins and tetrapod hemoglobins. The molecular trees indicated that alphaM, alpham, beta and the previously known alpha major globin were adult types of globins and the other known alpha globin was a larval type. The existence of two to four more globins in the axolotl erythrocyte is predicted.

  12. Role of habitat complexity in predator-prey dynamics between an introduced fish and larval Long-toed Salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenison, Erin K; Litt, Andrea R.; Pilliod, David; McMahon, Tom E

    2016-01-01

    Predation by nonnative fishes has reduced abundance and increased extinction risk for amphibian populations worldwide. Although rare, fish and palatable amphibians have been observed to coexist where aquatic vegetation and structural complexity provide suitable refugia. We examined whether larval long-toed salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum Baird, 1849) increased use of vegetation cover in lakes with trout and whether adding vegetation structure could reduce predation risk and nonconsumptive effects (NCEs), such as reductions in body size and delayed metamorphosis. We compared use of vegetation cover by larval salamanders in lakes with and without trout and conducted a field experiment to investigate the influence of added vegetation structure on salamander body morphology and life history. The probability of catching salamanders in traps in lakes with trout was positively correlated with the proportion of submerged vegetation and surface cover. Growth rates of salamanders in enclosures with trout cues decreased as much as 85% and the probability of metamorphosis decreased by 56%. We did not find evidence that adding vegetation reduced NCEs in experimental enclosures, but salamanders in lakes with trout utilized more highly-vegetated areas which suggests that adding vegetation structure at the scale of the whole lake may facilitate coexistence between salamanders and introduced trout.

  13. [Autoradiographic investigations on postnatal proliferative activity of the telencephalic and diencephalic matrix-zones in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), with special references to the olfactory organ (author's transl)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, W; Kranz, D

    1981-01-01

    The localization and proliferative activity of the matrix-zones has been investigated in the telencephalon and in the diencephalon of 21 axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) by means of autoradiographs, after injection of tritiated thymidine at different stages of the postnatal life. There are no previous detailed autoradiographical reports on postnatal brain development in the axolotl. Matrix-zones (i.e. ventricular and subventricular zone) exist in the dorsal part and in the ventral part of the telencephalon, we have found these also in the diencephalon in the wall of the preoptic recessus and ventrally of the habenula. The quantitative part of this study indicates high values of the labeling-index in the early postnatal stages. Then, the labeling-index decreases, but also in 3 years old specimens labeled cells were observed in the matrix-zones of the telencephalon; therefore a few of proliferative capacity remains in the central nervous system of adult axolotls. Labeled cells were also found in the olfactory organ of early postnatal and adult axolotls; these are neuroblasts which have relevance for the regeneration of the forebrain.

  14. Ontogeny of the VIP system in the gastro-intestinal tract of the Axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum: successive appearance of co-existing PACAP and NOS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badawy, Gamal; Reinecke, Manfred

    2003-03-01

    Evidence for the presence and potential co-existence of vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) and nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in gastro-intestinal endocrine cells and/or nerve fibers is conflicting and very few results exist on development. This immunofluorescence study aims to clarify the appearance and localization of VIP, PACAP and NOS in the gastro-intestinal tract of the Axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, during ontogeny. VIP-immunoreactivity appeared in nerve fibers as early as on day 3 after hatching likely indicating a particular role, such as a trophic action, of VIP in very early development. PACAP-immunoreactivity was observed 3 days later within the VIP-immunoreactive (-IR) fibers. From this time on, VIP- and PACAP-immunoreactivity exhibited complete co-existence. VIP/PACAP-IR fibers were found throughout the gastro-intestinal tract. They were most prominent in the myenteric plexus and the muscle layers and less frequent in the submucosa. NOS-immunoreactivity appeared as late as at the 1st (64 days) juvenile stage in a subpopulation of the VIP/PACAP-IR fibers that contacted submucosal arteries. We found only very few VIP/PACAP-IR perikarya, indicating that part of the VIP/PACAP-IR fibers is of extrinsic origin. On day 12 and in the 1st and 2nd (104 days) juvenile stage, infrequent PACAP-IR entero-endocrine cells were noted, while neither VIP- nor NOS-immunoreactivity occurred in endocrine cells at any stage of development. The complete coexistence of neuronal PACAP- and VIP-immunoreactivities and their very early appearance in ontogeny may suggest important and coordinated roles of both peptides in the control of Axolotl gastro-intestinal activity, while the VIP/ PACAP/NOS-IR fibers may be involved in the regulation of submucosal blood flow.

  15. Binding of adrenergic ligands to liver plasma membrane preparations from the axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum; the toad, Xenopus laevis; and the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janssens, P A; Grigg, J A

    1988-09-01

    The beta-adrenergic ligand iodocyanopindolol (ICP) bound specifically to hepatic plasma membrane preparations from the axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum (Bmax, 40 fmol/mg protein (P) at free concentration above 140 pM; KD, 42 pM); the toad, Xenopus laevis (Bmax, 200 fmol/mg P at 1 nM; KD, 300 pM); and the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri (Bmax, 100 fmol/mg P at 5 nM). For the lungfish, the Scatchard plot was curved showing two classes of binding site with KD's of 20 and 500 pM. Neither the alpha 1-adrenergic ligand prazosin nor the alpha 2-adrenergic ligand yohimbine bound specifically to hepatic membrane preparations from any of the three species. Several adrenergic ligands displaced ICP from hepatic membrane preparations of all three species with KD's of Axolotl--propranolol, 50 nM; isoprenaline, 600 nM; adrenaline, 10 microM; phenylephrine, 20 microM; noradrenaline, 40 microM; and phentolamine, greater than 100 microM; X. laevis--propranolol, 30 nM; isoprenaline, 100 microM; adrenaline, 200 microM; noradrenaline, 300 microM; phenylephrine, 1 mM; and phentolamine, greater than 1 mM; N. forsteri,--propranolol, 25 nM; isoprenaline, 1 microM; adrenaline, 20 microM; phenylephrine, 35 microM; noradrenaline, 600 microM; and phentolamine, 400 microM. These findings suggest that alpha-adrenergic receptors are not present in hepatic plasma membrane preparations from these three species and that the hepatic actions of catecholamines are mediated via beta-adrenergic receptors. The order of binding of the beta-adrenergic ligands suggests that the receptors are of the beta 2 type.

  16. 墨西哥钝口螈脊髓全切后胶质细胞的变化**★%Changes of gliacytes after spinal cord transection in Ambystoma mexicanum

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李敏; 刘佳; 钟玉华; 彭福华

    2013-01-01

      背景:墨西哥钝口螈脊髓切断可以再生,再生过程伴随胶质细胞数目及分布的改变,研究墨西哥钝口螈脊髓全切后胶质细胞的变化,对进一步探讨其脊髓切断再生机制有重要意义。目的:观察墨西哥钝口螈脊髓全切后小胶质细胞、星形胶质细胞及少突胶质细胞的变化。方法:选用成年墨西哥钝口螈,分为脊髓全切组和对照组,利用免疫组织化学法观察脊髓全切后1,3和10 d 的损伤脊髓及周围区 cd11b 标记的小胶质细胞、胶质细胞原纤维酸性蛋白标记的星形胶质细胞及髓鞘碱性蛋白标记的少突胶质细胞的变化。结果与结论:脊髓全切后短期内 cd11b 染色阴性;脊髓损伤后胶质细胞原纤维酸性蛋白及髓鞘碱性蛋白阳性细胞染色强度,1 d 组阳性细胞染色强度与对照组比较无显著差异,3及10 d 组阳性细胞染色强度较对照组低。墨西哥钝口螈小胶质细胞染色阴性,可能存在不同于哺乳动物的标记蛋白;脊髓全切后3及10 d 在损伤脊髓及周围区的胶质细胞原纤维酸性蛋白及髓鞘碱性蛋白阳性细胞染色强度较对照组低,提示钝口螈脊髓急性损伤早期未见星形胶质细胞及少突胶质细胞增生,无胶质瘢痕形成。%BACKGROUND: The spinal cord of Ambystoma mexicanum can regenerate after transection, and the number and distribution of gliacytes alter during regeneration. So it is important to observe the changes of gliacytes fol owing spinal cord transection in Ambystoma mexicanum in order to further discuss the mechanism of spinal cord regeneration. OBJECTIVE: To observe the changes of microglias, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes fol owing spinal cord transaction in Ambystoma mexicanum. METHODS: Adult Ambystoma mexicanum was selected and divided into spinal cord transection group and control group. Immunohistochemistry assay was performed to observe the changes in cd11b

  17. Localization of amylin-like immunoreactivity in melanocyte-stimulating hormone-containing cells of the pars intermedia but not those of the pars distalis in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) pituitary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Hirohumi; Yamamoto, Toshiharu

    2016-04-01

    Immunohistochemical techniques were employed to investigate the distribution of amylin-like immunoreactivity in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) pituitary. Amylin-immunoreactive cells were observed in the pars intermedia, and these cells were found to be immunoreactive for α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (αMSH) as well. In contrast, αMSH-immunoreactive cells in the pars distalis were immuno-negaitive for amylin. These light microscopic findings were confirmed by immunoelectron microscopy. Amylin-immunoreactive signals were located on the haloes of presumable secretory granules in association with αMSH-immunoreactive signals in the amylin-positive cells. However, in the pars distalis, the αMSH-positive cells did not contain amylin-immunoreactive secretory granules. Western blot analysis of axolotl pituitary extracts revealed the labeling of a protein band at approximately 10.5-kDa by the anti-rat amylin serum, which was not labeled by the anti-αMSH antibody. These findings indicate that amylin secreted from MSH-producing cells in the pars intermedia may modulate MSH secretion in an autocrine fashion and may participate in MSH functions such as fatty homeostasis together with MSH.

  18. Regeneration of limb joints in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jangwoo Lee

    Full Text Available In spite of numerous investigations of regenerating salamander limbs, little attention has been paid to the details of how joints are reformed. An understanding of the process and mechanisms of joint regeneration in this model system for tetrapod limb regeneration would provide insights into developing novel therapies for inducing joint regeneration in humans. To this end, we have used the axolotl (Mexican Salamander model of limb regeneration to describe the morphology and the expression patterns of marker genes during joint regeneration in response to limb amputation. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that the mechanisms of joint formation whether it be development or regeneration are conserved. We also have determined that defects in the epiphyseal region of both forelimbs and hind limbs in the axolotl are regenerated only when the defect is small. As is the case with defects in the diaphysis, there is a critical size above which the endogenous regenerative response is not sufficient to regenerate the joint. This non-regenerative response in an animal that has the ability to regenerate perfectly provides the opportunity to screen for the signaling pathways to induce regeneration of articular cartilage and joints.

  19. Regeneration of limb joints in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jangwoo; Gardiner, David M

    2012-01-01

    In spite of numerous investigations of regenerating salamander limbs, little attention has been paid to the details of how joints are reformed. An understanding of the process and mechanisms of joint regeneration in this model system for tetrapod limb regeneration would provide insights into developing novel therapies for inducing joint regeneration in humans. To this end, we have used the axolotl (Mexican Salamander) model of limb regeneration to describe the morphology and the expression patterns of marker genes during joint regeneration in response to limb amputation. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that the mechanisms of joint formation whether it be development or regeneration are conserved. We also have determined that defects in the epiphyseal region of both forelimbs and hind limbs in the axolotl are regenerated only when the defect is small. As is the case with defects in the diaphysis, there is a critical size above which the endogenous regenerative response is not sufficient to regenerate the joint. This non-regenerative response in an animal that has the ability to regenerate perfectly provides the opportunity to screen for the signaling pathways to induce regeneration of articular cartilage and joints.

  20. An introduction to the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gresens, Jill

    2004-10-01

    A number of unusual traits, including a remarkable capacity for wound healing and limb regeneration, make the axolotl an interesting animal model. The author provides an overview of axolotl care and use in biomedical research.

  1. Tissue lesions of tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum): relationship to sewage effluents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rose, F.L.

    1977-01-01

    A population of facultative neotenous tiger salamanders (A. tigrinum) inhabiting a sewage lagoon at Reese AFB, Hurlwood, Texas, was found to have an exceptionally high rate of spontaneous tissue lesions. The population is composed of an estimated 28,000 large, reproductively mature larvae that are restricted to the lagoon. Only about 17 percent of the population metamorphoses normally. In contrast, tiger salamanders from uncontaminated lagoons in the same general vicinity metamorphose normally; however, no neoplasms were discovered in larvae sampled from the nonsewage lagoons. N-nitrosamine analyses of water and tissue samples of larvae were negative. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocargon analyses revealed traces of benzo(a)pyrene in the sludge; however, perylene, a constituent of jet fuel, was found in high concentration (300 ppB). These results indicate that perylene, which was previously found not be tumorigenic to mice and rats, should be retested as a possible agent for nonmammalian species.

  2. Suppression of first cleavage in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) by heat shock or hydrostatic pressure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gillespie, L.L.; Armstrong, J.B.

    1981-12-01

    Androgenetic diploid axolotls were produced by ultraviolet inactivation of the egg pronucleus shortly after fertilization, followed by suppression of the first cleavage division by hydrostatic pressure or heat shock. After treatment at 14,000 psi for 8 minutes, diploidy was restored in 74% of the embryos, but only 0.8% survived to hatching. A 36-37 degrees C heat shock of 10-minutes duration, applied 5.5 hours after the eggs were collected, yielded a slightly lower percentage of diploids. However, the proportion surviving to hatching was significantly greater (up to 4.6%). A second generation of androgenetic diploids was produced from one of the oldest of the first generation males with a similar degree of success. The lack of significant improvement suggests that the low survival is due to the heat shock per se and not to the uncovering of recessive lethal genes carried by the parent.

  3. Collagen reconstitution is inversely correlated with induction of limb regeneration in Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satoh, Akira; Hirata, Ayako; Makanae, Aki

    2012-03-01

    Amphibians can regenerate missing body parts, including limbs. The regulation of collagen has been considered to be important in limb regeneration. Collagen deposition is suppressed during limb regeneration, so we investigated collagen deposition and apical epithelial cap (AEC) formation during axolotl limb regeneration. The accessory limb model (ALM) has been developed as an alternative model for studying limb regeneration. Using this model, we investigated the relationship between nerves, epidermis, and collagen deposition. We found that Sp-9, an AEC marker gene, was upregulated by direct interaction between nerves and epidermis. However, collagen deposition hindered this interaction, and resulted in the failure of limb regeneration. During wound healing, an increase in deposition of collagen caused a decrease in the blastema induction rate in ALM. Wound healing and limb regeneration are alternate processes.

  4. Positional information is reprogrammed in blastema cells of the regenerating limb of the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine D McCusker

    Full Text Available The regenerating region of an amputated salamander limb, known as the blastema, has the amazing capacity to replace exactly the missing structures. By grafting cells from different stages and regions of blastemas induced to form on donor animals expressing Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP, to non-GFP host animals, we have determined that the cells from early stage blastemas, as well as cells at the tip of late stage blastemas are developmentally labile such that their positional identity is reprogrammed by interactions with more proximal cells with stable positional information. In contrast, cells from the adjacent, more proximal stump tissues as well as the basal region of late bud blastemas are positionally stable, and thus form ectopic limb structures when grafted. Finally, we have found that a nerve is required to maintain the blastema cells in a positionally labile state, thus indicating a role for reprogramming cues in the blastema microenvironment.

  5. Neurotrophic regulation of epidermal dedifferentiation during wound healing and limb regeneration in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satoh, A; Graham, G M C; Bryant, S V; Gardiner, D M

    2008-07-15

    Adult urodeles (salamanders) are unique in their ability to regenerate complex organs perfectly. The recently developed Accessory Limb Model (ALM) in the axolotl provides an opportunity to identify and characterize the essential signaling events that control the early steps in limb regeneration. The ALM demonstrates that limb regeneration progresses in a stepwise fashion that is dependent on signals from the wound epidermis, nerves and dermal fibroblasts from opposite sides of the limb. When all the signals are present, a limb is formed de novo. The ALM thus provides an opportunity to identify and characterize the signaling pathways that control blastema morphogenesis and limb regeneration. In the present study, we have utilized the ALM to identity the buttonhead-like zinc-finger transcription factor, Sp9, as being involved in the formation of the regeneration epithelium. Sp9 expression is induced in basal keratinocytes of the apical blastema epithelium in a pattern that is comparable to its expression in developing limb buds, and it thus is an important marker for dedifferentiation of the epidermis. Induction of Sp9 expression is nerve-dependent, and we have identified KGF as an endogenous nerve factor that induces expression of Sp9 in the regeneration epithelium.

  6. Cartilage and bone cells do not participate in skeletal regeneration in Ambystoma mexicanum limbs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCusker, Catherine D; Diaz-Castillo, Carlos; Sosnik, Julian; Q Phan, Anne; Gardiner, David M

    2016-08-01

    The Mexican Axolotl is one of the few tetrapod species that is capable of regenerating complete skeletal elements in injured adult limbs. Whether the skeleton (bone and cartilage) plays a role in the patterning and contribution to the skeletal regenerate is currently unresolved. We tested the induction of pattern formation, the effect on cell proliferation, and contributions of skeletal tissues (cartilage, bone, and periosteum) to the regenerating axolotl limb. We found that bone tissue grafts from transgenic donors expressing GFP fail to induce pattern formation and do not contribute to the newly regenerated skeleton. Periosteum tissue grafts, on the other hand, have both of these activities. These observations reveal that skeletal tissue does not contribute to the regeneration of skeletal elements; rather, these structures are patterned by and derived from cells of non-skeletal connective tissue origin.

  7. Detailed tail proteomic analysis of axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) using an mRNA-seq reference database.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demircan, Turan; Keskin, Ilknur; Dumlu, Seda Nilgün; Aytürk, Nilüfer; Avşaroğlu, Mahmut Erhan; Akgün, Emel; Öztürk, Gürkan; Baykal, Ahmet Tarık

    2017-01-01

    Salamander axolotl has been emerging as an important model for stem cell research due to its powerful regenerative capacity. Several advantages, such as the high capability of advanced tissue, organ, and appendages regeneration, promote axolotl as an ideal model system to extend our current understanding on the mechanisms of regeneration. Acknowledging the common molecular pathways between amphibians and mammals, there is a great potential to translate the messages from axolotl research to mammalian studies. However, the utilization of axolotl is hindered due to the lack of reference databases of genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic data. Here, we introduce the proteome analysis of the axolotl tail section searched against an mRNA-seq database. We translated axolotl mRNA sequences to protein sequences and annotated these to process the LC-MS/MS data and identified 1001 nonredundant proteins. Functional classification of identified proteins was performed by gene ontology searches. The presence of some of the identified proteins was validated by in situ antibody labeling. Furthermore, we have analyzed the proteome expressional changes postamputation at three time points to evaluate the underlying mechanisms of the regeneration process. Taken together, this work expands the proteomics data of axolotl to contribute to its establishment as a fully utilized model.

  8. Neurotrophic regulation of fibroblast dedifferentiation during limb skeletal regeneration in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satoh, Akira; Cummings, Gillian M C; Bryant, Susan V; Gardiner, David M

    2010-01-15

    The ability of animals to repair tissue damage is widespread and impressive. Among tissues, the repair and remodeling of bone occurs during growth and in response to injury; however, loss of bone above a threshold amount is not regenerated, resulting in a "critical-size defect" (CSD). The development of therapies to replace or regenerate a CSD is a major focus of research in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. Adult urodeles (salamanders) are unique in their ability to regenerate complex tissues perfectly, yet like mammals do not regenerate a CSD. We report on an experimental model for the regeneration of a CSD in the axolotl (the Excisional Regeneration Model) that allows for the identification of signals to induce fibroblast dedifferentiation and skeletal regeneration. This regenerative response is mediated in part by BMP signaling, as is the case in mammals; however, a complete regenerative response requires the induction of a population of undifferentiated, regeneration-competent cells. These cells can be induced by signaling from limb amputation to generate blastema cells that can be grafted to the wound, as well as by signaling from a nerve and a wound epithelium to induce blastema cells from fibroblasts within the wound environment.

  9. Severe necrotizing myocarditis caused by serratia marcescens infection in an axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del-Pozo, J; Girling, S; Pizzi, R; Mancinelli, E; Else, R W

    2011-05-01

    This report provides the first account of the pathological changes associated with infection by Serratia marcescens in an adult male axolotl. The infection resulted in septicaemia with severe multifocal necrotizing myocarditis. The latter lesion evolved to cardiac rupture, haemopericardium and death resulting from cardiac tamponade. This animal was exposed to higher than usual temperatures (24-25 °C) 2 weeks before the onset of disease and this may have resulted in immunocompromise and opportunistic bacterial infection. S. marcescens was isolated from the coelomic and pericardial cavity. Both isolates were identical and were resistant to β-lactam antibiotics, but not to aminoglycosides or fluoroquinolones. The production of red prodigiosin pigment by the bacterium suggested an environmental origin. Overall, the clinical and histopathological presentation suggests that S. marcescens should be included in the list of aetiological agents of the 'red-leg'/bacterial dermatosepticaemia syndrome of amphibians.

  10. Positional information is reprogrammed in blastema cells of the regenerating limb of the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCusker, Catherine D; Gardiner, David M

    2013-01-01

    The regenerating region of an amputated salamander limb, known as the blastema, has the amazing capacity to replace exactly the missing structures. By grafting cells from different stages and regions of blastemas induced to form on donor animals expressing Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP), to non-GFP host animals, we have determined that the cells from early stage blastemas, as well as cells at the tip of late stage blastemas are developmentally labile such that their positional identity is reprogrammed by interactions with more proximal cells with stable positional information. In contrast, cells from the adjacent, more proximal stump tissues as well as the basal region of late bud blastemas are positionally stable, and thus form ectopic limb structures when grafted. Finally, we have found that a nerve is required to maintain the blastema cells in a positionally labile state, thus indicating a role for reprogramming cues in the blastema microenvironment.

  11. Identification of Mutant Genes and Introgressed Tiger Salamander DNA in the Laboratory Axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodcock, M Ryan; Vaughn-Wolfe, Jennifer; Elias, Alexandra; Kump, D Kevin; Kendall, Katharina Denise; Timoshevskaya, Nataliya; Timoshevskiy, Vladimir; Perry, Dustin W; Smith, Jeramiah J; Spiewak, Jessica E; Parichy, David M; Voss, S Randal

    2017-12-01

    The molecular genetic toolkit of the Mexican axolotl, a classic model organism, has matured to the point where it is now possible to identify genes for mutant phenotypes. We used a positional cloning-candidate gene approach to identify molecular bases for two historic axolotl pigment phenotypes: white and albino. White (d/d) mutants have defects in pigment cell morphogenesis and differentiation, whereas albino (a/a) mutants lack melanin. We identified in white mutants a transcriptional defect in endothelin 3 (edn3), encoding a peptide factor that promotes pigment cell migration and differentiation in other vertebrates. Transgenic restoration of Edn3 expression rescued the homozygous white mutant phenotype. We mapped the albino locus to tyrosinase (tyr) and identified polymorphisms shared between the albino allele (tyr (a) ) and tyr alleles in a Minnesota population of tiger salamanders from which the albino trait was introgressed. tyr (a) has a 142 bp deletion and similar engineered alleles recapitulated the albino phenotype. Finally, we show that historical introgression of tyr (a) significantly altered genomic composition of the laboratory axolotl, yielding a distinct, hybrid strain of ambystomatid salamander. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of identifying genes for traits in the laboratory Mexican axolotl.

  12. Dual embryonic origin of the hyobranchial apparatus in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidian, Asya; Malashichev, Yegor

    2013-01-01

    Traditionally, the cartilaginous viscerocranium of vertebrates is considered as neural crest (NC)-derived. Morphological work carried out on amphibian embryos in the first half of the XX century suggested potentially mesodermal origin for some hyobranchial elements. Since then, the embryonic sources of the hyobranchial apparatus in amphibians has not been investigated due to lack of an appropriate long-term labelling system. We performed homotopic transplantations of neural folds along with the majority of cells of the presumptive NC, and/or fragments of the head lateral plate mesoderm (LPM) from transgenic GFP+ into white embryos. In these experiments, the NC-derived GFP+ cells contributed to all hyobranchial elements, except for basibranchial 2, whereas the grafting of GFP+ head mesoderm led to a reverse labelling result. The grafting of only the most ventral part of the head LPM resulted in marking of the basibranchial 2 and the heart myocardium, implying their origin from a common mesodermal region. This is the first evidence of contribution of LPM of the head to cranial elements in any vertebrate. If compared to fish, birds, and mammals, in which all branchial skeletal elements are NC-derived, the axolotl (probably this is true for all amphibians) demonstrates an evolutionary deviation, in which the head LPM replaces NC cells in a hyobranchial element. This implies that cells of different embryonic origin may have the same developmental program, leading to the formation of identical (homologous) elements of the skeleton.

  13. Regulation of proximal-distal intercalation during limb regeneration in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satoh, Akira; Cummings, Gillian M C; Bryant, Susan V; Gardiner, David M

    2010-12-01

    Intercalation is the process whereby cells located at the boundary of a wound interact to stimulate proliferation and the restoration of the structures between the boundaries that were lost during wounding. Thus, intercalation is widely considered to be the mechanism of regeneration. When a salamander limb is amputated, the entire cascade of regeneration events is activated, and the missing limb segments and their boundaries (joints) as well as the structures within each segment are regenerated. Therefore, in an amputated limb it is not possible to distinguish between intersegmental regeneration (formation of new segments/joints) and intrasegmental regeneration (formation of structures within a given segment), and it is not possible to study the differential regulation of these two processes. We have used two models for regeneration that allow us to study these two processes independently, and report that inter- and intrasegmental regeneration are different processes regulated by different signaling pathways. New limb segments/joints can be regenerated from cells that dedifferentiate to form blastema cells in response to signaling that is mediated in part by fibroblast growth factor.

  14. Dual embryonic origin and patterning of the pharyngeal skeleton in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sefton, Elizabeth M; Piekarski, Nadine; Hanken, James

    2015-01-01

    The impressive morphological diversification of vertebrates was achieved in part by innovation and modification of the pharyngeal skeleton. Extensive fate mapping in amniote models has revealed a primarily cranial neural crest derivation of the pharyngeal skeleton. Although comparable fate maps of amphibians produced over several decades have failed to document a neural crest derivation of ventromedial elements in these vertebrates, a recent report provides evidence of a mesodermal origin of one of these elements, basibranchial 2, in the axolotl. We used a transgenic labeling protocol and grafts of labeled cells between GFP+ and white embryos to derive a fate map that describes contributions of both cranial neural crest and mesoderm to the axolotl pharyngeal skeleton, and we conducted additional experiments that probe the mechanisms that underlie mesodermal patterning. Our fate map confirms a dual embryonic origin of the pharyngeal skeleton in urodeles, including derivation of basibranchial 2 from mesoderm closely associated with the second heart field. Additionally, heterotopic transplantation experiments reveal lineage restriction of mesodermal cells that contribute to pharyngeal cartilage. The mesoderm-derived component of the pharyngeal skeleton appears to be particularly sensitive to retinoic acid (RA): administration of exogenous RA leads to loss of the second basibranchial, but not the first. Neural crest was undoubtedly critical in the evolution of the vertebrate pharyngeal skeleton, but mesoderm may have played a central role in forming ventromedial elements, in particular. When and how many times during vertebrate phylogeny a mesodermal contribution to the pharyngeal skeleton evolved remain to be resolved.

  15. Eye enucleation and regeneration of neural retina in axolotl larvae (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yew, D T

    1985-01-01

    The eyes of Axolotl larvae were enucleated at stages 30 and 37. Animals with single dorsomedian eyes resulted in the first case (i.e. stage 30). When a piece of pigment epithelium was re-implanted into stage 37 animals at the site of the lesion, limited regeneration was observed when the implant formed a vesicle, but, when the pigment epithelium remained "open" regeneration of the neural retina was extensive. The possible resons for this difference was discussed.

  16. Pattern formation in artificially activated ectoderm (Rana pipiens and Ambystoma punctatum)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nieuwkoop, P.D.

    1963-01-01

    Presumptive ectoneuroderm of late blastulae or early gastrulae of Rana pipiens was partially activated by short-lasting disaggregation in Ca-free Holtfreter or Niu-Twitty solutions and subsequent reaggregation in normal solutions. The explants usually became dumbbell shaped and consisted respectivel

  17. 77 FR 70456 - Receipt of Applications for Endangered Species Permits

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-26

    ... capture and handling of reticulated flatwoods salamanders (Ambystoma bishop) and frosted flatwoods salamanders (Ambystoma cingulatum). This study will be conducted in Escambia, Okaloosa, Walton,...

  18. Regulation of Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum Limb Blastema Cell Proliferation by Nerves and BMP2 in Organotypic Slice Culture.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey Lehrberg

    Full Text Available We have modified and optimized the technique of organotypic slice culture in order to study the mechanisms regulating growth and pattern formation in regenerating axolotl limb blastemas. Blastema cells maintain many of the behaviors that are characteristic of blastemas in vivo when cultured as slices in vitro, including rates of proliferation that are comparable to what has been reported in vivo. Because the blastema slices can be cultured in basal medium without fetal bovine serum, it was possible to test the response of blastema cells to signaling molecules present in serum, as well as those produced by nerves. We also were able to investigate the response of blastema cells to experimentally regulated changes in BMP signaling. Blastema cells responded to all of these signals by increasing the rate of proliferation and the level of expression of the blastema marker gene, Prrx-1. The organotypic slice culture model provides the opportunity to identify and characterize the spatial and temporal co-regulation of pathways in order to induce and enhance a regenerative response.

  19. Regulation of Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) Limb Blastema Cell Proliferation by Nerves and BMP2 in Organotypic Slice Culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehrberg, Jeffrey; Gardiner, David M

    2015-01-01

    We have modified and optimized the technique of organotypic slice culture in order to study the mechanisms regulating growth and pattern formation in regenerating axolotl limb blastemas. Blastema cells maintain many of the behaviors that are characteristic of blastemas in vivo when cultured as slices in vitro, including rates of proliferation that are comparable to what has been reported in vivo. Because the blastema slices can be cultured in basal medium without fetal bovine serum, it was possible to test the response of blastema cells to signaling molecules present in serum, as well as those produced by nerves. We also were able to investigate the response of blastema cells to experimentally regulated changes in BMP signaling. Blastema cells responded to all of these signals by increasing the rate of proliferation and the level of expression of the blastema marker gene, Prrx-1. The organotypic slice culture model provides the opportunity to identify and characterize the spatial and temporal co-regulation of pathways in order to induce and enhance a regenerative response.

  20. Gain-of-function assays in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) to identify signaling pathways that induce and regulate limb regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jangwoo; Aguilar, Cristian; Gardiner, David

    2013-01-01

    The adult salamander has been studied as a model for regeneration of complex tissues for many decades. Only recently with the development of gain-of-function assays for regeneration, has it been possible to screen for and assay the function of the multitude of signaling factors that have been identified in studies of embryonic development and tumorigenesis. Given the conservation of function of these regulatory pathways controlling growth and pattern formation, it is now possible to use the functional assays in the salamander to test the ability of endogenous as well as small-molecule signaling factors to induce a regenerative response.

  1. Using Ambystoma mexicanum (Mexican axolotl) embryos, chemical genetics, and microarray analysis to identify signaling pathways associated with tissue regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponomareva, Larissa V; Athippozhy, Antony; Thorson, Jon S; Voss, S Randal

    2015-12-01

    Amphibian vertebrates are important models in regenerative biology because they present exceptional regenerative capabilities throughout life. However, it takes considerable effort to rear amphibians to juvenile and adult stages for regeneration studies, and the relatively large sizes that frogs and salamanders achieve during development make them difficult to use in chemical screens. Here, we introduce a new tail regeneration model using late stage Mexican axolotl embryos. We show that axolotl embryos completely regenerate amputated tails in 7days before they exhaust their yolk supply and begin to feed. Further, we show that axolotl embryos can be efficiently reared in microtiter plates to achieve moderate throughput screening of soluble chemicals to investigate toxicity and identify molecules that alter regenerative outcome. As proof of principle, we identified integration 1 / wingless (Wnt), transforming growth factor beta (Tgf-β), and fibroblast growth factor (Fgf) pathway antagonists that completely block tail regeneration and additional chemicals that significantly affected tail outgrowth. Furthermore, we used microarray analysis to show that inhibition of Wnt signaling broadly affects transcription of genes associated with Wnt, Fgf, Tgf-β, epidermal growth factor (Egf), Notch, nerve growth factor (Ngf), homeotic gene (Hox), rat sarcoma/mitogen-activated protein kinase (Ras/Mapk), myelocytomatosis viral oncogene (Myc), tumor protein 53 (p53), and retinoic acid (RA) pathways. Punctuated changes in the expression of genes known to regulate vertebrate development were observed; this suggests the tail regeneration transcriptional program is hierarchically structured and temporally ordered. Our study establishes the axolotl as a chemical screening model to investigate signaling pathways associated with tissue regeneration.

  2. FGF and BMP derived from dorsal root ganglia regulate blastema induction in limb regeneration in Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satoh, Akira; Makanae, Aki; Nishimoto, Yurie; Mitogawa, Kazumasa

    2016-09-01

    Urodele amphibians have a remarkable organ regeneration ability that is regulated by neural inputs. The identification of these neural inputs has been a challenge. Recently, Fibroblast growth factor (Fgf) and Bone morphogenic protein (Bmp) were shown to substitute for nerve functions in limb and tail regeneration in urodele amphibians. However, direct evidence of Fgf and Bmp being secreted from nerve endings and regulating regeneration has not yet been shown. Thus, it remained uncertain whether they were the nerve factors responsible for successful limb regeneration. To gather experimental evidence, the technical difficulties involved in the usage of axolotls had to be overcome. We achieved this by modifying the electroporation method. When Fgf8-AcGFP or Bmp7-AcGFP was electroporated into the axolotl dorsal root ganglia (DRG), GFP signals were detectable in the regenerating limb region. This suggested that Fgf8 and Bmp7 synthesized in neural cells in the DRG were delivered to the limbs through the long axons. Further knockdown experiments with double-stranded RNA interference resulted in impaired limb regeneration ability. These results strongly suggest that Fgf and Bmp are the major neural inputs that control the organ regeneration ability.

  3. Absence of mutation at the 5'-upstream promoter region of the TPM4 gene from cardiac mutant axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denz, Christopher R; Zhang, Chi; Jia, Pingping; Du, Jianfeng; Huang, Xupei; Dube, Syamalima; Thomas, Anish; Poiesz, Bernard J; Dube, Dipak K

    2011-09-01

    Tropomyosins are a family of actin-binding proteins that show cell-specific diversity by a combination of multiple genes and alternative RNA splicing. Of the 4 different tropomyosin genes, TPM4 plays a pivotal role in myofibrillogenesis as well as cardiac contractility in amphibians. In this study, we amplified and sequenced the upstream regulatory region of the TPM4 gene from both normal and mutant axolotl hearts. To identify the cis-elements that are essential for the expression of the TPM4, we created various deletion mutants of the TPM4 promoter DNA, inserted the deleted segments into PGL3 vector, and performed promoter-reporter assay using luciferase as the reporter gene. Comparison of sequences of the promoter region of the TPM4 gene from normal and mutant axolotl revealed no mutations in the promoter sequence of the mutant TPM4 gene. CArG box elements that are generally involved in controlling the expression of several other muscle-specific gene promoters were not found in the upstream regulatory region of the TPM4 gene. In deletion experiments, loss of activity of the reporter gene was noted upon deletion which was then restored upon further deletion suggesting the presence of both positive and negative cis-elements in the upstream regulatory region of the TPM4 gene. We believe that this is the first axolotl promoter that has ever been cloned and studied with clear evidence that it functions in mammalian cell lines. Although striated muscle-specific cis-acting elements are absent from the promoter region of TPM4 gene, our results suggest the presence of positive and negative cis-elements in the promoter region, which in conjunction with positive and negative trans-elements may be involved in regulating the expression of TPM4 gene in a tissue-specific manner.

  4. [Specific growth rate and the rate of energy metabolism in the ontogenesis of axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum (Amphibia: Ambystomatidae)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vladimirova, I G; Kleĭmenov, S Iu; Alekseeva, T A; Radzinskaia, L I

    2003-01-01

    Concordant changes in the rate of energy metabolism and specific growth rate of axolotls have been revealed. Several periods of ontogeny are distinguished, which differ in the ratio of energy metabolism to body weight and, therefore, are described by different allometric equations. It is suggested that the specific growth rate of an animal determines the type of dependence of energy metabolism on body weight.

  5. Nerve signaling regulates basal keratinocyte proliferation in the blastema apical epithelial cap in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satoh, Akira; Bryant, Susan V; Gardiner, David M

    2012-06-15

    The ability of adult vertebrates to repair tissue damage is widespread and impressive; however, the ability to regenerate structurally complex organs such as the limb is limited largely to the salamanders. The fact that most of the tissues of the limb can regenerate has led investigators to question and identify the barriers to organ regeneration. From studies in the salamander, it is known that one of the earliest steps required for successful regeneration involves signaling between nerves and the wound epithelium/apical epithelial cap (AEC). In this study we confirm an earlier report that the keratinocytes of the AEC acquire their function coincident with exiting the cell cycle. We have discovered that this unique, coordinated behavior is regulated by nerve signaling and is associated with the presence of gap junctions between the basal keratinocytes of the AEC. Disruption of nerve signaling results in a loss of gap junction protein, the reentry of the cells into the cell cycle, and regenerative failure. Finally, coordinated exit from the cell cycle appears to be a conserved behavior of populations of cells that function as signaling centers during both development and regeneration.

  6. INTERACTIONS BETWEEN BRANCHIATE MOLE SALAMANDERS (AMBYSTOMA TALPOIDEUM) AND LESSER SIRENS (SIREN INTERMEDIA): ASYMMETRICAL COMPETITION AND INTRAGUILD PREDATION. (R825795)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  7. Evidence that the premature death mutation (p) in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is not an autonomous cell lethal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mes-Hartree, M; Armstrong, J B

    1980-12-01

    Cell-lethal developmental mutations, which are presumed to affect the viability of all cells in a mutant embryo, have been distinguished from other development lethals on the basis of the results of parabiosis and transplant experiments. Premature death (p), previously classified as a cell lethal, does not survive parabiosis. However, transplants involving mutant eye, flank epidermis and primordial limb tissue all survived on a normal recipient. The mutant, therefore, cannot be considered a true cell lethal, though it suffers from serious and widespread abnormalities that cannot be corrected by parabiosis. In addition, transplants of mutant branchial mound tissue did not develop into normal gills on a normal recipient. These transplants were the only ones involving mutant endoderm, and their failure supports our hypothesis that the mutation leads to a specific endoderm defect.

  8. Analysis of the endocardium and cardiac jelly in truncal development in the cardiac lethal mutant axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemanski, L F; Fitzharris, T P

    1989-05-01

    Recessive mutant gene c in axolotls results in a failure of the heart to function because of abnormal embryonic induction processes. The myocardium in this mutant lacks organized sarcomeric myofibrils. The present study was undertaken to determine if developmental abnormalities were evident in other areas of the heart besides the myocardium. A detailed comparative survey of the structure of developing normal and mutant hearts, including the endocardium, its cellular derivatives, and the extracellular matrix, known as cardiac jelly, showed that in the mutant there are fewer than the normal number of endocardial cells lining the heart lumen, the number of mesenchyme cells is reduced, and the cardiac jelly area is greatly enlarged in the posterior part of the truncus adjacent to the ventricle.

  9. Positional information in axolotl and mouse limb extracellular matrix is mediated via heparan sulfate and fibroblast growth factor during limb regeneration in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phan, Anne Q; Lee, Jangwoo; Oei, Michelle; Flath, Craig; Hwe, Caitlyn; Mariano, Rachele; Vu, Tiffany; Shu, Cynthia; Dinh, Andrew; Simkin, Jennifer; Muneoka, Ken; Bryant, Susan V; Gardiner, David M

    2015-08-01

    Urodele amphibians are unique among adult vertebrates in their ability to regenerate complex body structures after traumatic injury. In salamander regeneration, the cells maintain a memory of their original position and use this positional information to recreate the missing pattern. We used an in vivo gain-of-function assay to determine whether components of the extracellular matrix (ECM) have positional information required to induce formation of new limb pattern during regeneration. We discovered that salamander limb ECM has a position-specific ability to either inhibit regeneration or induce de novo limb structure, and that this difference is dependent on heparan sulfates that are associated with differential expression of heparan sulfate sulfotransferases. We also discovered that an artificial ECM containing only heparan sulfate was sufficient to induce de novo limb pattern in salamander limb regeneration. Finally, ECM from mouse limbs is capable of inducing limb pattern in axolotl blastemas in a position-specific, developmental-stage-specific, and heparan sulfate-dependent manner. This study demonstrates a mechanism for positional information in regeneration and establishes a crucial functional link between salamander regeneration and mammals.

  10. The yeast two hybrid system in a screen for proteins interacting with axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) Msx1 during early limb regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abuqarn, Mehtap; Allmeling, Christina; Amshoff, Inga; Menger, Bjoern; Nasser, Inas; Vogt, Peter M; Reimers, Kerstin

    2011-07-01

    Urodele amphibians are exceptional in their ability to regenerate complex body structures such as limbs. Limb regeneration depends on a process called dedifferentiation. Under an inductive wound epidermis terminally differentiated cells transform to pluripotent progenitor cells that coordinately proliferate and eventually redifferentiate to form the new appendage. Recent studies have developed molecular models integrating a set of genes that might have important functions in the control of regenerative cellular plasticity. Among them is Msx1, which induced dedifferentiation in mammalian myotubes in vitro. Herein, we screened for interaction partners of axolotl Msx1 using a yeast two hybrid system. A two hybrid cDNA library of 5-day-old wound epidermis and underlying tissue containing more than 2×10⁶ cDNAs was constructed and used in the screen. 34 resulting cDNA clones were isolated and sequenced. We then compared sequences of the isolated clones to annotated EST contigs of the Salamander EST database (BLASTn) to identify presumptive orthologs. We subsequently searched all no-hit clone sequences against non redundant NCBI sequence databases using BLASTx. It is the first time, that the yeast two hybrid system was adapted to the axolotl animal model and successfully used in a screen for proteins interacting with Msx1 in the context of amphibian limb regeneration.

  11. EFFECTS OF THE HERBICIDE ATRAZINE AND FOOD ABUNDANCE ON THE SURVIVAL, LIFE HISTORY, AND BEHAVIOR OF STREAMSIDE SALAMANDERS (AMBYSTOMA BARBOURI). (R829086)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  12. Positional information in axolotl and mouse limb extracellular matrix is mediated via heparan sulfate and fibroblast growth factor during limb regeneration in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum)

    OpenAIRE

    Phan, Anne Q.; Lee, Jangwoo; Oei, Michelle; Flath, Craig; Hwe, Caitlyn; Mariano, Rachele; Vu, Tiffany; Shu,Cynthia; Dinh, Andrew; Simkin, Jennifer; Muneoka, Ken; Bryant, Susan V.; Gardiner, David M

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Urodele amphibians are unique among adult vertebrates in their ability to regenerate complex body structures after traumatic injury. In salamander regeneration, the cells maintain a memory of their original position and use this positional information to recreate the missing pattern. We used an in vivo gain‐of‐function assay to determine whether components of the extracellular matrix (ECM) have positional information required to induce formation of new limb pattern during regeneratio...

  13. 77 FR 53221 - Santa Clara Valley Habitat Conservation Plan/Natural Community Conservation Plan, Environmental...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-31

    ...) (Ambystoma californiense), threatened California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii), endangered least Bell's... the foothill yellow-legged frog (Rana boylii), western pond turtle (Clemmys marmorata),...

  14. Sal-Site: Integrating new and existing ambystomatid salamander research and informational resources

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weisrock David W

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Salamanders of the genus Ambystoma are a unique model organism system because they enable natural history and biomedical research in the laboratory or field. We developed Sal-Site to integrate new and existing ambystomatid salamander research resources in support of this model system. Sal-Site hosts six important resources: 1 Salamander Genome Project: an information-based web-site describing progress in genome resource development, 2 Ambystoma EST Database: a database of manually edited and analyzed contigs assembled from ESTs that were collected from A. tigrinum tigrinum and A. mexicanum, 3 Ambystoma Gene Collection: a database containing full-length protein-coding sequences, 4 Ambystoma Map and Marker Collection: an image and database resource that shows the location of mapped markers on linkage groups, provides information about markers, and provides integrating links to Ambystoma EST Database and Ambystoma Gene Collection databases, 5 Ambystoma Genetic Stock Center: a website and collection of databases that describe an NSF funded salamander rearing facility that generates and distributes biological materials to researchers and educators throughout the world, and 6 Ambystoma Research Coordination Network: a web-site detailing current research projects and activities involving an international group of researchers. Sal-Site is accessible at http://www.ambystoma.org.

  15. 75 FR 1810 - Endangered and Threatened Species Permit Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-13

    ...), Sonoran tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum stebbinsi), Mount Graham red squirrel (Tamiasciurus... (Spiranthes delitescens), Holmgren milk-vetch (Astragalus holmgreniorum), sentry milk-vetch...

  16. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-XTRO-01-3773 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-XTRO-01-3773 ref|YP_003772.1| myristylated membrane protein [Ambystoma tigrinu...m virus] gb|AAP33178.1| myristylated membrane protein [Ambystoma tigrinum stebbensi virus] YP_003772.1 0.13 56% ...

  17. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-XTRO-01-3553 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-XTRO-01-3553 ref|YP_003772.1| myristylated membrane protein [Ambystoma tigrinu...m virus] gb|AAP33178.1| myristylated membrane protein [Ambystoma tigrinum stebbensi virus] YP_003772.1 2.4 53% ...

  18. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-XTRO-01-2527 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-XTRO-01-2527 ref|YP_003772.1| myristylated membrane protein [Ambystoma tigrinu...m virus] gb|AAP33178.1| myristylated membrane protein [Ambystoma tigrinum stebbensi virus] YP_003772.1 0.035 56% ...

  19. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-XTRO-01-0562 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-XTRO-01-0562 ref|YP_003772.1| myristylated membrane protein [Ambystoma tigrinu...m virus] gb|AAP33178.1| myristylated membrane protein [Ambystoma tigrinum stebbensi virus] YP_003772.1 0.045 56% ...

  20. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-XTRO-01-0480 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-XTRO-01-0480 ref|YP_003772.1| myristylated membrane protein [Ambystoma tigrinu...m virus] gb|AAP33178.1| myristylated membrane protein [Ambystoma tigrinum stebbensi virus] YP_003772.1 0.045 56% ...

  1. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-XTRO-01-0714 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-XTRO-01-0714 ref|YP_003772.1| myristylated membrane protein [Ambystoma tigrinu...m virus] gb|AAP33178.1| myristylated membrane protein [Ambystoma tigrinum stebbensi virus] YP_003772.1 0.035 56% ...

  2. Development of a Standardized Approach for Assessing Potential Risks to Amphibians Exposed to Sediment and Hydric Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-05-01

    hour LC50 values of 205 µg/L (Ambystoma mexicanum, the axolotl ) and 23,494 µg/L (X. laevis) and several toxicity tests with adult male and female...organisms Stage 28; 25oC Ferrari et al. 1993 RATL Ambystoma mexicanum Axolotl Adult 205 UG/L LC50 24 HR 50% mortality in test organisms -- Vaal et al...Secondary 48-HOUR LC50 Ambystoma mexicanum Axolotl Embryo 470 UG/L LC50 48 HR 50% mortality in test

  3. Environmental Assessment: West Coast Basing of C-17 Aircraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-06-01

    below 500 feet. Found scattered in vernal pools, northwest corner of the Base. Amphibians California tiger salamander Ambystoma ...Polites mardon Candidate Endangered Taylor (Whulge) checkerspot Euphydryas editha taylori Candidate Candidate Plants White-top aster Aster curtus

  4. SPATIALLY AUTOCORRELATED DEMOGRAPHY AND INTERPOND MIGRATION IN THE CALIFORNIA TIGER SALAMANDER (AMBYSTOME CALIFORNIENSE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    We investigated the metapopulation structure of the California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense) using a combination of indirect and direct methods to evaluate two key requirements of modern metapopulation models: 1) that patches support somewhat independent populations ...

  5. MRI tracking of SPIO labelled stem cells in a true regenerative environment, the regenerating limb of the axolotl

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lauridsen, Henrik; Foldager, Casper Bindzus; Hagensen, Mette

    are generally restricted by their limited regenerative potential. Conversely, excellent animal models for regenerative studies exist in lower vertebrates such as the urodele amphibians (salamanders and newts), exemplified in the iconic Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) capable of regenerating whole limbs...

  6. Biological Assessment of the Effects of the Proposed Revision of the 1996 Management Guidelines for the Red-cockaded Woodpecker on Army Installations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-08-01

    silty or loamy soils distinguish bottomland areas. Naturally regenerated forests and plantations of longleaf, slash, and lob- lolly pine dominate the...indigo snake T Gopherus polyphemus Gopher tortoise T Amphibians Ambystoma cingulatum Flatwoods Salamander T Insects Neonympha mitchellii

  7. Linking Conservation Actions with Population Viability Models: Reducing Uncertainty to Better Predict Management Effects on Viability

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-01

    Press, Oxford, United Kingdom. Grubb, P.J. 1977. The maintenance of species-richness in plant communities: the importance of the regeneration niche...Flatwoods salamander , Ambystoma cingulatum). Parameter Values used Definition F 160 mean clutch size PB 0.4, 0.8 probability of breeding SE 0.75...breeding salamander , Ambystoma jeffersonianum. Canadian Journal of Zoology 84:449–458. Simons, T. R. 1983. Biology and conservation of the

  8. 78 FR 55287 - Endangered Species Recovery Permit Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-10

    ... littoralis catalinae) Santa Cruz Island fox (Urocyon littoralis santacruzae) Santa Rosa Island fox (Urocyon... habitat enhancement activities in San Luis Obispo County, California, for the purpose of enhancing the... California tiger salamander (Santa Barbara County DPS and Sonoma County DPS) (Ambystoma californiense);...

  9. Implementing Herpetofaunal Inventory and Monitoring Efforts on Corps of Engineers Project Lands

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-01

    snorkeling surveys in Appalachian mountain streams have been used to survey hellbenders; snorkeling may also inventory numerous other turtles and Ambystoma...salamanders missed by other inventory methods (Graeter et al. 2008). Snorkeling surveys are best applied in clear river, pond, or lake habitats. PVC

  10. Functional characterization of the vertebrate primary ureter: Structure and ion transport mechanisms of the pronephric duct in axolotl larvae (Amphibia)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haugan, Birgitte M; Halberg, Kenneth Agerlin; Jespersen, Åse

    2010-01-01

    whether the duct is involved in urine modification using larvae of the freshwater amphibian Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl) as model. Results We investigated structural as well as physiological properties of the pronephric duct. The key elements of our methodology were: using histology, light...

  11. The Mexican Axolotl in Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, R. M.

    1976-01-01

    Suggests and describes laboratory activities in which the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum Shaw) is used, including experiments in embryology and early development, growth and regeneration, neoteny and metamorphosis, genetics and coloration, anatomy and physiology, and behavior. Discusses care and maintenance of animals. (CS)

  12. 76 FR 55413 - Proposed Safe Harbor Agreement for California Red-legged Frog, California Tiger Salamander, Smith...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-07

    ... Tiger Salamander, Smith's Blue Butterfly, and Yadon's Piperia at Palo Corona Regional Park, Monterey... federally threatened California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii) and California tiger salamander (Ambystoma..., California tiger salamander, Smith's blue butterfly, and Yadon's piperia on the property subject to...

  13. Proceedings from the Southwest Region Threatened, Endangered, and At-Risk Species Workshop Held in Tucson, Arizona on October 22-25, 2007

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-10-01

    also has four federally listed species onsite—Sonoran tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum stebbinsi), lesser long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris...civilian population in the area and integral to the protection of habitat for the Huachuca water umbel and Sonoran tiger salamander on the...about “background” mortality/ regeneration rates, what qualifies as unusually high mortality/ regeneration , and current mortality/ regeneration levels

  14. Environmental Assessment for Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan Activities at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-28

    Fusconaia escambia Narrow Pigtoe - PT Villosa choctawensis Choctaw Bean - PE Pleurobema strodeanum Fuzzy Pigtoe - PT Amphibians and Reptiles ...variegatus Wax myrtle Myrica certifera America alligator Alligator mississippiensis Yaupon holly Ilex vomitoria Great blue heron Ardea herodias Cattail...Amphibians and Reptiles Alligator mississippiensis American Alligator LS T (S/A) Ambystoma bishopi Reticulated Flatwoods Salamander LE LE Amphiuma

  15. Environment Assessment for Grand Bay Range, Bemiss Field, and Moody Explosive Ordnance Disposal Range Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-01

    Protection of Historic Properties (36 CFR 800); Preserve America (EO 13287); and Archeological Resources Protection Act (PL 96-95; 16 USC 470...exception of those identified as threatened, endangered, or sensitive. Wildlife includes fish, amphibians, reptiles , birds, and mammals. Sensitive...chorus frog (Pseudacris nigrita), eastern newt (Notophthalmus viridescens), and tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum). Reptiles found on the Installation

  16. Predator-prey relationships among larval dragonflies, salamanders, and frogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldwell, J P; Thorp, J H; Jervey, T O

    1980-09-01

    Tadpoles of the barking tree frog, Hyla gratiosa, are abundant in spring and summer in some ponds and Carolina bays on the Savannah River Plant near Aiken, South Carolina. To determine how these tadpoles survive in the presence of predaceous salamander larvae, Ambystoma talpoideum, and larvae of an aeshnid dragonfly, Anax junius, we determined fields densities and sizes of the predators and the prey and conducted predation experiments in the laboratory. Tadpoles rapidly grow to a size not captured by Ambystoma, although Anax larvae can capture slightly larger tadpoles. Differing habitat preferences among the tadpoles and the two predator species probably aid in reducing predation pressure. Preliminary work indicates that the tadpoles may have an immobility response to an attack by a predator. In addition, the smallest, most vulnerable tadpoles have a distinctive color pattern which may function to disrupt the body outline and make them indiscernable to predators.

  17. Functional characterization of the vertebrate primary ureter: Structure and ion transport mechanisms of the pronephric duct in axolotl larvae (Amphibia)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haugan, Birgitte M; Halberg, Kenneth Agerlin; Jespersen, Åse;

    2010-01-01

    whether the duct is involved in urine modification using larvae of the freshwater amphibian Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl) as model. Results We investigated structural as well as physiological properties of the pronephric duct. The key elements of our methodology were: using histology, light...... duct system, which provides a model of cell structure and basic mechanisms for ion transport. Such information may be important in understanding the evolution of vertebrate kidney systems and human diseases associated with congenital malformations....

  18. Dicty_cDB: Contig-U09430-1 [Dicty_cDB

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available is chromosom... 52 9e-05 AJ004696_2( AJ004696 |pid:none) Obertrumia georgiana DNA for histo... 49 9e-05 AJ00...4697_2( AJ004697 |pid:none) Obertrumia georgiana DNA for histo... 48 2e-04 AF008301_1( AF008301 |pid:none) A...mbystoma mexicanum histone H4 (H4... 50 3e-04 AJ004695_2( AJ004695 |pid:none) Obertrumia georgiana DNA for h

  19. Calcium regulates vesicle replenishment at the cone ribbon synapse

    OpenAIRE

    Babai, Norbert; Bartoletti, Theodore M.; Thoreson, Wallace B.

    2010-01-01

    Cones release glutamate-filled vesicles continuously in darkness and changing illumination modulates this release. Because sustained release in darkness is governed by vesicle replenishment rates, we analyzed how cone membrane potential regulates replenishment. Synaptic release from cones was measured by recording post-synaptic currents in Ambystoma tigrinum horizontal or OFF bipolar cells evoked by depolarization of simultaneously voltage-clamped cones. We measured replenishment after attain...

  20. Shifty salamanders: transient trophic polymorphism and cannibalism within natural populations of larval ambystomatid salamanders

    OpenAIRE

    Jefferson, Dale M; Ferrari, Maud CO; Mathis, Alicia; Hobson, Keith A.; Eric R Britzke; Crane, Adam L; Blaustein, Andrew R.; Chivers, Douglas P.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Many species of ambystomatid salamanders are dependent upon highly variable temporary wetlands for larval development. High larval densities may prompt the expression of a distinct head morphology that may facilitate cannibalism. However, few studies have characterized structural cannibalism within natural populations of larval salamanders. In this study we used two species of larval salamanders, long-toed (Ambystoma macrodactylum) and ringed salamanders (A. annulatum). Head morp...

  1. Environmental Assessment for Cantonment Areas at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-10-28

    the federally endangered flatwoods salamander (Ambystoma bishopi) exists on or near some cantonment areas. Reptile species of concern that may occur...Acoustical Society of America , Vol 98, No 2, pp 1025–1033. Finegold, L. S., C. S. Harris, and H. E. vonGlerke, 1994. Community annoyance and sleep...Fidell, 1995. Predicting noise-induced sleep disturbance. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America , Vol 97, No 1, pp 331–338. U.S. Air Force

  2. Sal-Site: research resources for the Mexican axolotl.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baddar, Nour W Al Haj; Woodcock, M Ryan; Khatri, Shivam; Kump, D Kevin; Voss, S Randal

    2015-01-01

    Sal-Site serves axolotl research efforts by providing Web access to genomic data and information, and living stocks that are reared and made available by the Ambystoma Genetic Stock Center (AGSC). In this chapter, we detail how investigators can search for genes of interest among Sal-Site resources to identify orthologous nucleotide and protein-coding sequences, determine genome positions within the Ambystoma meiotic map, and obtain estimates of gene expression. In the near future, additional genomic resources will be made available for the axolotl, including a listing of genes that are partially or wholly contained within Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC) vectors, a prioritized collection of deeply sequenced BAC clones, chromosome-specific assemblies of genomic DNA, and transgenic axolotls that are engineered using TALENs and CRISPRs. Also, services provided by the AGSC will be expanded to include microinjection of user constructs into single cell embryos and distribution of axolotl tissues, DNA, and RNA. In conclusion, Sal-Site is a useful resource that generates, shares, and evolves Ambystoma associated information and databases to serve research and education.

  3. Genomics of a metamorphic timing QTL: met1 maps to a unique genomic position and regulates morph and species-specific patterns of brain transcription.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page, Robert B; Boley, Meredith A; Kump, David K; Voss, Stephen R

    2013-01-01

    Very little is known about genetic factors that regulate life history transitions during ontogeny. Closely related tiger salamanders (Ambystoma species complex) show extreme variation in metamorphic timing, with some species foregoing metamorphosis altogether, an adaptive trait called paedomorphosis. Previous studies identified a major effect quantitative trait locus (met1) for metamorphic timing and expression of paedomorphosis in hybrid crosses between the biphasic Eastern tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum) and the paedomorphic Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). We used existing hybrid mapping panels and a newly created hybrid cross to map the met1 genomic region and determine the effect of met1 on larval growth, metamorphic timing, and gene expression in the brain. We show that met1 maps to the position of a urodele-specific chromosome rearrangement on linkage group 2 that uniquely brought functionally associated genes into linkage. Furthermore, we found that more than 200 genes were differentially expressed during larval development as a function of met1 genotype. This list of differentially expressed genes is enriched for proteins that function in the mitochondria, providing evidence of a link between met1, thyroid hormone signaling, and mitochondrial energetics associated with metamorphosis. Finally, we found that met1 significantly affected metamorphic timing in hybrids, but not early larval growth rate. Collectively, our results show that met1 regulates species and morph-specific patterns of brain transcription and life history variation.

  4. Amphibian occurrence and aquatic invaders in a changing landscape: Implications for wetland mitigation in the Willamette Valley, Oregon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearl, Christopher A.; Adams, Michael J.; Leuthold, N.; Bury, R. Bruce

    2005-01-01

    Despite concern about the conservation status of amphibians in western North America, few field studies have documented occurrence patterns of amphibians relative to potential stressors. We surveyed wetland fauna in Oregon's Willamette Valley and used an information theoretic approach (AIC) to rank the associations between native amphibian breeding occurrence and wetland characteristics, non-native aquatic predators, and landscape characteristics in a mixed urban-agricultural landscape. Best predictors varied among the five native amphibians and were generally consistent with life history differences. Pacific tree frog (Pseudacris regilla) and long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum) occurrence was best predicted by the absence of non-native fish. Northern red-legged frog (Rana a. aurora) and northwestern salamander (Ambystoma gracile) were most strongly related to wetland vegetative characteristics. The occurrence of rough-skinned newts (Taricha granulosa), a migratory species that makes extensive use of terrestrial habitats, was best predicted by greater forest cover within 1 km. The absence of non-native fish was a strong predictor of occurrence for four of the five native species. In contrast, amphibians were not strongly related to native fish presence. We found little evidence supporting negative effects of the presence of breeding populations of bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) on any native species. Only the two Ambystoma salamanders were associated with wetland permanence. Northwestern salamanders (which usually have a multi-year larval stage) were associated with permanent waters, while long-toed salamanders were associated with temporary wetlands. Although all the species make some use of upland habitats, only one (rough-skinned newt) was strongly associated with surrounding landscape conditions. Instead, our analysis suggests that within-wetland characteristics best predict amphibian occurrence in this region. We recommend that wetland preservation and

  5. Distribution patterns of lentic-breeding amphibians in relation to ultraviolet radiation exposure in western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Michael J.; Hossack, B.R.; Knapp, R.A.; Corn, P.S.; Diamond, S.A.; Trenham, P.C.; Fagre, D.B.

    2005-01-01

    An increase in ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation has been posited to be a potential factor in the decline of some amphibian population. This hypothesis has received support from laboratory and field experiments showing that current levels of UV-B can cause embryo mortality in some species, but little research has addressed whether UV-B is influencing the distribution of amphibian populations. We compared patterns of amphibian presence to site-specific estimates of UV-B dose at 683 ponds and lakes in Glacier, Olympic, and Sequoia–Kings Canyon National Parks. All three parks are located in western North America, a region with a concentration of documented amphibian declines. Site-specific daily UV-B dose was estimated using modeled and field-collected data to incorporate the effects of elevation, landscape, and water-column dissolved organic carbon. Of the eight species we examined (Ambystoma gracile, Ambystoma macrodactylum, Bufo boreas, Pseudacris regilla, Rana cascadae, Rana leuteiventris, Rana muscosa, Taricha granulosa), two species (T. granulosa and A. macrodactylum) had quadratic relationships with UV-B that could have resulted from negative UV-B effects. Both species were most likely to occur at moderate UV-B levels. Ambystoma macrodactylum showed this pattern only in Glacier National Park. Occurrence of A. macrodactylum increased as UV-B increased in Olympic National Park despite UV-B levels similar to those recorded in Glacier. We also found marginal support for a negative association with UV-B for P. regilla in one of the two parks where it occurred. We did not find evidence of a negative UV-B effect for any other species. Much more work is still needed to determine whether UV-B, either alone or in concert with other factors, is causing widespread population losses in amphibians.

  6. Impacto del mega proyecto del nuevo aeropuerto para la ciudad de México en el patrimonio biocultural y agroecología de la zona lacustre de la Región Atenco-Texcoco, México

    OpenAIRE

    Delgado Viveros, David

    2015-01-01

    Esta región se ha considerado importante desde la época prehispánica, como un sistema alimentario y de amortiguamiento ambiental. Recursos naturales como Ambystoma mexicanum, la agricultura lacustre con Corisella texcocana y la agricultura de básicos, son aún fuente de alimento. Las políticas que se han aplicado influyeron en la desecación del lago. Debido a las consecuencias ecológicas de estas acciones se construyeron embalses artificiales, que mantuvieron los sistemas productivos aunque en...

  7. Generation of aneurogenic larvae by parabiosis of salamander embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Anoop; Delgado, Jean Paul

    2015-01-01

    Limb regeneration of salamanders is nerve dependent, and the removal of the nerves in early stages of limb regeneration severely curtails the proliferation of the blastemal cells and growth of the regenerate. The removal of the neural tube from a developing salamander embryo results in an aneurogenic larva and the aneurogenic limb (ANL) develops independently without innervation. Paradoxically, the limb in an ANL is capable of regeneration in a nerve-independent manner. Here, we describe a detailed method for the generation of ANL in the spotted salamander, Ambystoma maculatum, for regeneration studies.

  8. Reconstitution of the central and peripheral nervous system during salamander tail regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McHedlishvili, Levan; Mazurov, Vladimir; Grassme, Kathrin S; Goehler, Kerstin; Robl, Bernhard; Tazaki, Akira; Roensch, Kathleen; Duemmler, Annett; Tanaka, Elly M

    2012-08-21

    We show that after tail amputation in Ambystoma mexicanum (Axolotl) the correct number and spacing of dorsal root ganglia are regenerated. By transplantation of spinal cord tissue and nonclonal neurospheres, we show that the central spinal cord represents a source of peripheral nervous system cells. Interestingly, melanophores migrate from preexisting precursors in the skin. Finally, we demonstrate that implantation of a clonally derived spinal cord neurosphere can result in reconstitution of all examined cell types in the regenerating central spinal cord, suggesting derivation of a cell with spinal cord stem cell properties.

  9. Evolution mediates the effects of apex predation on aquatic food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urban, Mark C

    2013-07-22

    Ecological and evolutionary mechanisms are increasingly thought to shape local community dynamics. Here, I evaluate if the local adaptation of a meso-predator to an apex predator alters local food webs. The marbled salamander (Ambystoma opacum) is an apex predator that consumes both the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) and shared zooplankton prey. Common garden experiments reveal that spotted salamander populations which co-occur with marbled salamanders forage more intensely than those that face other predator species. These foraging differences, in turn, alter the diversity, abundance and composition of zooplankton communities in common garden experiments and natural ponds. Locally adapted spotted salamanders exacerbate prey biomass declines associated with apex predation, but dampen the top-down effects of apex predation on prey diversity. Countergradient selection on foraging explains why locally adapted spotted salamanders exacerbate prey biomass declines. The two salamander species prefer different prey species, which explains why adapted spotted salamanders buffer changes in prey composition owing to apex predation. Results suggest that local adaptation can strongly mediate effects from apex predation on local food webs. Community ecologists might often need to consider the evolutionary history of populations to understand local diversity patterns, food web dynamics, resource gradients and their responses to disturbance.

  10. Radioautographic investigation of retinal growth in mature amphibians

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Svistunov, S.A.; Mitashov, V.I.

    1986-07-01

    Growth of the retina was studied in mature intact amphibians, tritons, axolotls, ambystomas and clawed frogs, for six months using multiple injection of /sup 3/H-thymidine. It was established that the source of replenishment of the retina by new cells is its terminal zone in all animals investigated. This is attested to by the gradual migration of labeled cells from the growth zone into differentiated layers of the retina. The most intensely labeled cells occupy a distal position relative to other labeled cells, therefore marking the boundary between the initial part of the retina, not containing labeled nuclei, and the part being augmented. For each species studied, a level of proliferative activity is characteristic for cells of the terminal zone, which decreases in the order axolotl-clawed frog-triton -ambystoma. In the axolotl and additional growth zone is noted in the retina, in addition to the terminal, which is located in the area of the unclosed section of the embryonic fissure. Results obtained serve as a basis for the regenerative potentials of eye tissues revealed previously in these amphibian species.

  11. Urodeles remove mesoderm from the superficial layer by subduction through a bilateral primitive streak.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shook, David R; Majer, Christina; Keller, Ray

    2002-08-15

    Urodeles begin gastrulation with much of their presumptive mesoderm in the superficial cell layer, all of which must move into the deep layers during development. We studied the morphogenesis of superficial mesoderm in the urodeles Ambystoma maculatum, Ambystoma mexicanum, and Taricha granulosa. In all three species, somitic, lateral, and ventral mesoderm move into the deep layer during gastrulation, ingressing through a "bilateral primitive streak" just inside the blastopore. The mesodermal epithelium appears to slide under the endodermal epithelium by a mechanism we term "subduction." Subduction removes the large expanse of superficial presumptive somitic and lateral-ventral mesoderm that initially separates the sub-blastoporal endoderm from the notochord, leaving the endoderm bounding the still epithelial notochord along the gastrocoel roof. Subduction may be a common feature of urodele gastrulation, differing in this regard from anurans. Subducting cells constrict their apices and become bottle-shaped as they approach the junction of the mesodermal and endodermal epithelia. Subducting bottle cells endocytose apical membrane and withdraw the tight junctional component cingulin from the contracting circumferential tight junctions. Either in conjunction with or immediately after subducting, the mesodermal cells undergo an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. The mechanism by which epithelial cells release their apical junctions to become mesenchymal, without disrupting the integrity of the epithelium, remains mysterious, but this system should prove useful in understanding this process in a developmental context.

  12. Predicted Changes in Climatic Niche and Climate Refugia of Conservation Priority Salamander Species in the Northeastern United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William B. Sutton

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Global climate change represents one of the most extensive and pervasive threats to wildlife populations. Amphibians, specifically salamanders, are particularly susceptible to the effects of changing climates due to their restrictive physiological requirements and low vagility; however, little is known about which landscapes and species are vulnerable to climate change. Our study objectives included, (1 evaluating species-specific predictions (based on 2050 climate projections and vulnerabilities to climate change and (2 using collective species responses to identify areas of climate refugia for conservation priority salamanders in the northeastern United States. All evaluated salamander species were projected to lose a portion of their climatic niche. Averaged projected losses ranged from 3%–100% for individual species, with the Cow Knob Salamander (Plethodon punctatus, Cheat Mountain Salamander (Plethodon nettingi, Shenandoah Mountain Salamander (Plethodon virginia, Mabee’s Salamander (Ambystoma mabeei, and Streamside Salamander (Ambystoma barbouri predicted to lose at least 97% of their landscape-scale climatic niche. The Western Allegheny Plateau was predicted to lose the greatest salamander climate refugia richness (i.e., number of species with a climatically-suitable niche in a landscape patch, whereas the Central Appalachians provided refugia for the greatest number of species during current and projected climate scenarios. Our results can be used to identify species and landscapes that are likely to be further affected by climate change and potentially resilient habitats that will provide consistent climatic conditions in the face of environmental change.

  13. Sex in unisexual salamanders: discovery of a new sperm donor with ancient affinities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogart, J P; Bartoszek, J; Noble, D W A; Bi, K

    2009-12-01

    Although bisexual reproduction has considerable evolutionary benefits, several all-female vertebrates exist. Unisexual salamanders in the genus Ambystoma are common around the Great Lakes region in eastern North America. They originated from a hybridization event that involved a female that shared a common ancestor with Ambystoma barbouri 2.4 to 3.9 million years ago but, unexpectedly, A. barbouri nuclear genomes were unknown in unisexuals. Unisexual salamanders steal sperm from donors of normally bisexual species, so their reproductive mode is described as kleptogenesis. Most known unisexuals are polyploid and they all possess at least one A. laterale genome. One or more other genomes are taken from sperm donors that may include A. jeffersonianum, A. laterale, A. texanum and A. tigrinum. We examined unisexual adults and larvae in a southern Ohio pond where unisexual individuals coexist with male A. barbouri. This population provided an opportunity to test hypotheses pertaining to the role of A. barbouri in the evolution of the disparate cytoplasmic and nuclear genomes in unisexual salamanders. Microsatellite DNA loci, mitochondrial DNA sequences and genomic in situ hybridization were used to identify the genomic constitution of individuals. A. barbouri was found to be an acceptable sperm donor for unisexuals but only contributed genomes in ploidy-elevated individuals. In the absence of A. jeffersonianum, this Ohio population is likely experiencing a recent switch in sperm donors from A. jeffersonianum to A. barbouri and demonstrates the evolutionary flexibility and dynamics of kleptogenesis.

  14. Extinction debt as a driver of amphibian declines: An example with imperiled flatwoods salamanders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semiltsch, Raymond D; Walls, Susan; Barichivich, William J.; O'Donnell, Katherine

    2017-01-01

    A comprehensive view of population declines and their underlying causes is necessary to reverse species loss. Historically, in many cases, a narrow view may have allowed species declines to continue, virtually undetected, for long periods of time (perhaps even decades). We suggest that extinction debt is likely responsible for numerous (perhaps most) amphibian declines and that this perspective should be incorporated into the structure of amphibian research and management. Extinction debt, originally proposed to explain changes in species richness following environmental disturbance, also may refer to the proportion of populations of an individual species that is expected to eventually be lost because of habitat change. A conservation framework to address extinction debt focuses research on threats at the individual, population, and metapopulation levels. This approach will help enhance, restore, and protect specific processes and habitats at the proper scale by directing management to the most vulnerable level and stage of a species. We illustrate this approach using Flatwoods Salamanders, Ambystoma cingulatumand Ambystoma bishopi, which occurred historically throughout the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States but have experienced a greater than 85% loss of populations in recent years. Reversal of these losses is possible only if conservation and recovery efforts encompass individual, population, and metapopulation levels. We illustrate our framework by outlining actions that could be taken at each of these levels to help guide conservation and management of amphibians with complex life cycles and provide options for how to prioritize conservation actions in the face of logistical and budgetary shortfalls.

  15. Hybrid vigor between native and introduced salamanders raises new challenges for conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzpatrick, Benjamin M; Shaffer, H Bradley

    2007-10-02

    Hybridization between differentiated lineages can have many different consequences depending on fitness variation among hybrid offspring. When introduced organisms hybridize with natives, the ensuing evolutionary dynamics may substantially complicate conservation decisions. Understanding the fitness consequences of hybridization is an important first step in predicting its evolutionary outcome and conservation impact. Here, we measured natural selection caused by differential viability of hybrid larvae in wild populations where native California Tiger Salamanders (Ambystoma californiense) and introduced Barred Tiger Salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum mavortium) have been hybridizing for 50-60 years. We found strong evidence of hybrid vigor; mixed-ancestry genotypes had higher survival rates than genotypes containing mostly native or mostly introduced alleles. Hybrid vigor may be caused by heterozygote advantage (overdominance) or recombinant hybrid vigor (due to epistasis or complementation). These genetic mechanisms are not mutually exclusive, and we find statistical support for both overdominant and recombinant contributions to hybrid vigor in larval tiger salamanders. Because recombinant homozygous genotypes can breed true, a single highly fit genotype with a mosaic of native and introduced alleles may eventually replace the historically pure California Tiger Salamander (listed as Threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act). The management implications of this outcome are complex: Genetically pure populations may not persist into the future, but average fitness and population viability of admixed California Tiger Salamanders may be enhanced. The ecological consequences for other native species are unknown.

  16. Quantifiable long-term monitoring on parks and nature preserves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, Scott; Moorman, Christopher; DePerno, Christopher S.; Simons, Theodore R.

    2013-01-01

    Herpetofauna have declined globally, and monitoring is a useful approach to document local and long-term changes. However, monitoring efforts often fail to account for detectability or follow standardized protocols. We performed a case study at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve in Cary, NC to model occupancy of focal species and demonstrate a replicable long-term protocol useful to parks and nature preserves. From March 2010 to 2011, we documented occupancy of Ambystoma opacum(Marbled Salamander), Plethodon cinereus (Red-backed Salamander), Carphophis amoenus (Eastern Worm Snake), and Diadophis punctatus (Ringneck Snake) at coverboard sites and estimated breeding female Ambystoma maculatum (Spotted Salamander) abundance via dependent double-observer egg-mass counts in ephemeral pools. Temperature influenced detection of both Marbled and Red-backed Salamanders. Based on egg-mass data, we estimated Spotted Salamander abundance to be between 21 and 44 breeding females. We detected 43 of 53 previously documented herpetofauna species. Our approach demonstrates a monitoring protocol that accounts for factors that influence species detection and is replicable by parks or nature preserves with limited resources.

  17. Road deicing salt irreversibly disrupts osmoregulation of salamander egg clutches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karraker, Nancy E; Gibbs, James P

    2011-03-01

    It has been postulated that road deicing salts are sufficiently diluted by spring rains to ameliorate any physiological impacts to amphibians breeding in wetlands near roads. We tested this conjecture by exposing clutches of the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) to three chloride concentrations (1 mg/L, 145 mg/L, 945 mg/L) for nine days, then transferred clutches to control water for nine days, and measured change in mass at three-day intervals. We measured mass change because water uptake by clutches reduces risks to embryos associated with freezing, predation, and disease. Clutches in controls sequestered water asymptotically. Those in the moderate concentrations lost 18% mass initially and regained 14% after transfer to control water. Clutches in high concentration lost 33% mass and then lost an additional 8% after transfer. Our results suggest that spring rains do not ameliorate the effects of deicing salts in wetlands with extremely high chloride concentrations.

  18. Comparative Analysis of Cartilage Marker Gene Expression Patterns during Axolotl and Xenopus Limb Regeneration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazumasa Mitogawa

    Full Text Available Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum can completely regenerate lost limbs, whereas Xenopus laevis frogs cannot. During limb regeneration, a blastema is first formed at the amputation plane. It is thought that this regeneration blastema forms a limb by mechanisms similar to those of a developing embryonic limb bud. Furthermore, Xenopus laevis frogs can form a blastema after amputation; however, the blastema results in a terminal cone-shaped cartilaginous structure called a "spike." The causes of this patterning defect in Xenopus frog limb regeneration were explored. We hypothesized that differences in chondrogenesis may underlie the patterning defect. Thus, we focused on chondrogenesis. Chondrogenesis marker genes, type I and type II collagen, were compared in regenerative and nonregenerative environments. There were marked differences between axolotls and Xenopus in the expression pattern of these chondrogenesis-associated genes. The relative deficit in the chondrogenic capacity of Xenopus blastema cells may account for the absence of total limb regenerative capacity.

  19. Antiviral immunity in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Guangchun; Robert, Jacques

    2011-11-01

    Although a variety of virus species can infect amphibians, diseases caused by ranaviruses ([RVs]; Iridoviridae) have become prominent, and are a major concern for biodiversity, agriculture and international trade. The relatively recent and rapid increase in prevalence of RV infections, the wide range of host species infected by RVs, the variability in host resistance among population of the same species and among different developmental stages, all suggest an important involvement of the amphibian immune system. Nevertheless, the roles of the immune system in the etiology of viral diseases in amphibians are still poorly investigated. We review here the current knowledge of antiviral immunity in amphibians, focusing on model species such as the frog Xenopus and the salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum), and on recent progress in generating tools to better understand how host immune defenses control RV infections, pathogenicity, and transmission.

  20. Fundamental differences in dedifferentiation and stem cell recruitment during skeletal muscle regeneration in two salamander species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandoval-Guzmán, Tatiana; Wang, Heng; Khattak, Shahryar; Schuez, Maritta; Roensch, Kathleen; Nacu, Eugeniu; Tazaki, Akira; Joven, Alberto; Tanaka, Elly M; Simon, András

    2014-02-06

    Salamanders regenerate appendages via a progenitor pool called the blastema. The cellular mechanisms underlying regeneration of muscle have been much debated but have remained unclear. Here we applied Cre-loxP genetic fate mapping to skeletal muscle during limb regeneration in two salamander species, Notophthalmus viridescens (newt) and Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl). Remarkably, we found that myofiber dedifferentiation is an integral part of limb regeneration in the newt, but not in axolotl. In the newt, myofiber fragmentation results in proliferating, PAX7(-) mononuclear cells in the blastema that give rise to the skeletal muscle in the new limb. In contrast, myofibers in axolotl do not generate proliferating cells, and do not contribute to newly regenerated muscle; instead, resident PAX7(+) cells provide the regeneration activity. Our results therefore show significant diversity in limb muscle regeneration mechanisms among salamanders and suggest that multiple strategies may be feasible for inducing regeneration in other species, including mammals.

  1. Evolution of the head-trunk interface in tetrapod vertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sefton, Elizabeth M; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S; Mohaddes, Zahra; Hanken, James

    2016-04-19

    Vertebrate neck musculature spans the transition zone between head and trunk. The extent to which the cucullaris muscle is a cranial muscle allied with the gill levators of anamniotes or is instead a trunk muscle is an ongoing debate. Novel computed tomography datasets reveal broad conservation of the cucullaris in gnathostomes, including coelacanth and caecilian, two sarcopterygians previously thought to lack it. In chicken, lateral plate mesoderm (LPM) adjacent to occipital somites is a recently identified embryonic source of cervical musculature. We fate-map this mesoderm in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), which retains external gills, and demonstrate its contribution to posterior gill-levator muscles and the cucullaris. Accordingly, LPM adjacent to the occipital somites should be regarded as posterior cranial mesoderm. The axial position of the head-trunk border in axolotl is congruent between LPM and somitic mesoderm, unlike in chicken and possibly other amniotes.

  2. Comparative Analysis of Cartilage Marker Gene Expression Patterns during Axolotl and Xenopus Limb Regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitogawa, Kazumasa; Makanae, Aki; Satoh, Ayano; Satoh, Akira

    2015-01-01

    Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) can completely regenerate lost limbs, whereas Xenopus laevis frogs cannot. During limb regeneration, a blastema is first formed at the amputation plane. It is thought that this regeneration blastema forms a limb by mechanisms similar to those of a developing embryonic limb bud. Furthermore, Xenopus laevis frogs can form a blastema after amputation; however, the blastema results in a terminal cone-shaped cartilaginous structure called a "spike." The causes of this patterning defect in Xenopus frog limb regeneration were explored. We hypothesized that differences in chondrogenesis may underlie the patterning defect. Thus, we focused on chondrogenesis. Chondrogenesis marker genes, type I and type II collagen, were compared in regenerative and nonregenerative environments. There were marked differences between axolotls and Xenopus in the expression pattern of these chondrogenesis-associated genes. The relative deficit in the chondrogenic capacity of Xenopus blastema cells may account for the absence of total limb regenerative capacity.

  3. Non-native salmonids affect amphibian occupancy at multiple spatial scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilliod, David S.; Hossack, Blake R.; Bahls, Peter F.; Bull, Evelyn L.; Corn, Paul Stephen; Hokit, Grant; Maxell, Bryce A.; Munger, James C.; Wyrick, Aimee

    2010-01-01

    Aim The introduction of non-native species into aquatic environments has been linked with local extinctions and altered distributions of native species. We investigated the effect of non-native salmonids on the occupancy of two native amphibians, the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum) and Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris), across three spatial scales: water bodies, small catchments and large catchments. Location Mountain lakes at ≥ 1500 m elevation were surveyed across the northern Rocky Mountains, USA. Methods We surveyed 2267 water bodies for amphibian occupancy (based on evidence of reproduction) and fish presence between 1986 and 2002 and modelled the probability of amphibian occupancy at each spatial scale in relation to habitat availability and quality and fish presence. Results After accounting for habitat features, we estimated that A. macrodactylum was 2.3 times more likely to breed in fishless water bodies than in water bodies with fish. Ambystoma macrodactylum also was more likely to occupy small catchments where none of the water bodies contained fish than in catchments where at least one water body contained fish. However, the probability of salamander occupancy in small catchments was also influenced by habitat availability (i.e. the number of water bodies within a catchment) and suitability of remaining fishless water bodies. We found no relationship between fish presence and salamander occupancy at the large-catchment scale, probably because of increased habitat availability. In contrast to A. macrodactylum, we found no relationship between fish presence and R. luteiventris occupancy at any scale. Main conclusions Our results suggest that the negative effects of non-native salmonids can extend beyond the boundaries of individual water bodies and increase A. macrodactylum extinction risk at landscape scales. We suspect that niche overlap between non-native fish and A. macrodactylum at higher elevations in the northern Rocky

  4. Lethal effects of water quality on threatened California salamanders but not on co-occurring hybrid salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, Maureen E; Johnson, Jarrett R; Fitzpatrick, Benjamin M; Lowenstine, Linda J; Picco, Angela M; Shaffer, H Bradley

    2013-02-01

    Biological invasions and habitat alteration are often detrimental to native species, but their interactions are difficult to predict. Interbreeding between native and introduced species generates novel genotypes and phenotypes, and human land use alters habitat structure and chemistry. Both invasions and habitat alteration create new biological challenges and opportunities. In the intensively farmed Salinas Valley, California (U.S.A.), threatened California tiger salamanders (Ambystoma californiense) have been replaced by hybrids between California tiger salamander and introduced barred tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum mavortium). We conducted an enclosure experiment to examine the effects habitat modification and relative frequency of hybrid and native California tiger salamanders have on recruitment of salamanders and their prey, Pacific chorus frogs (Pseudacris regilla). We tested whether recruitment differed among genetic classes of tiger salamanders (hybrid or native) and pond hydroperiod (seasonal or perennial). Roughly 6 weeks into the experiment, 70% (of 378 total) of salamander larvae died in 4 out of 6 ponds. Native salamanders survived (n = 12) in these ponds only if they had metamorphosed prior to the die-offs. During die-offs, all larvae of native salamanders died, whereas 56% of hybrid larvae died. We necropsied native and hybrid salamanders, tested water quality, and queried the California Department of Pesticide Regulation database to investigate possible causes of the die-offs. Salamander die-offs, changes in the abundance of other community members (invertebrates, algae, and cyanobacteria), shifts in salamander sex ratio, and patterns of pesticide application in adjacent fields suggest that pesticide use may have contributed to die-offs. That all survivors were hybrids suggests that environmental stress may promote rapid displacement of native genotypes.

  5. From biomedicine to natural history research: EST resources for ambystomatid salamanders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bryant Susan V

    2004-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Establishing genomic resources for closely related species will provide comparative insights that are crucial for understanding diversity and variability at multiple levels of biological organization. We developed ESTs for Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum and Eastern tiger salamander (A. tigrinum tigrinum, species with deep and diverse research histories. Results Approximately 40,000 quality cDNA sequences were isolated for these species from various tissues, including regenerating limb and tail. These sequences and an existing set of 16,030 cDNA sequences for A. mexicanum were processed to yield 35,413 and 20,599 high quality ESTs for A. mexicanum and A. t. tigrinum, respectively. Because the A. t. tigrinum ESTs were obtained primarily from a normalized library, an approximately equal number of contigs were obtained for each species, with 21,091 unique contigs identified overall. The 10,592 contigs that showed significant similarity to sequences from the human RefSeq database reflected a diverse array of molecular functions and biological processes, with many corresponding to genes expressed during spinal cord injury in rat and fin regeneration in zebrafish. To demonstrate the utility of these EST resources, we searched databases to identify probes for regeneration research, characterized intra- and interspecific nucleotide polymorphism, saturated a human – Ambystoma synteny group with marker loci, and extended PCR primer sets designed for A. mexicanum / A. t. tigrinum orthologues to a related tiger salamander species. Conclusions Our study highlights the value of developing resources in traditional model systems where the likelihood of information transfer to multiple, closely related taxa is high, thus simultaneously enabling both laboratory and natural history research.

  6. Microarray analysis of a salamander hopeful monster reveals transcriptional signatures of paedomorphic brain development

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    Putta Srikrishna

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum is considered a hopeful monster because it exhibits an adaptive and derived mode of development - paedomorphosis - that has evolved rapidly and independently among tiger salamanders. Unlike related tiger salamanders that undergo metamorphosis, axolotls retain larval morphological traits into adulthood and thus present an adult body plan that differs dramatically from the ancestral (metamorphic form. The basis of paedomorphic development was investigated by comparing temporal patterns of gene transcription between axolotl and tiger salamander larvae (Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum that typically undergo a metamorphosis. Results Transcript abundances from whole brain and pituitary were estimated via microarray analysis on four different days post hatching (42, 56, 70, 84 dph and regression modeling was used to independently identify genes that were differentially expressed as a function of time in both species. Collectively, more differentially expressed genes (DEGs were identified as unique to the axolotl (n = 76 and tiger salamander (n = 292 than were identified as shared (n = 108. All but two of the shared DEGs exhibited the same temporal pattern of expression and the unique genes tended to show greater changes later in the larval period when tiger salamander larvae were undergoing anatomical metamorphosis. A second, complementary analysis that directly compared the expression of 1320 genes between the species identified 409 genes that differed as a function of species or the interaction between time and species. Of these 409 DEGs, 84% exhibited higher abundances in tiger salamander larvae at all sampling times. Conclusions Many of the unique tiger salamander transcriptional responses are probably associated with metamorphic biological processes. However, the axolotl also showed unique patterns of transcription early in development. In particular, the axolotl showed a genome

  7. Cranial nerves of the coelacanth, Latimeria chalumnae [Osteichthyes: Sarcopterygii: Actinistia], and comparisons with other craniata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Northcutt, R G; Bemis, W E

    1993-01-01

    We reconstructed the cranial nerves of a serially sectioned prenatal coelacanth, Latimeria chalumnae. This allowed us to correct several mistakes in the literature and to make broad phylogenetic comparisons with other craniates. The genera surveyed in our phylogenetic analysis were Eptatretus, Myxine, Petromyzon, Lampetra, Chimaera, Hydrolagus, Squalus, Mustelus, Polypterus, Acipenser, Lepisosteus, Amia, Neoceratodus, Protopterus, Lepidosiren, Latimeria and Ambystoma. Cladistic analysis of our data shows that Latimeria shares with Ambystoma two characters of the cranial nerves. Our chief findings are: 1) Latimeria possesses an external nasal papilla and pedunculated olfactory bulbs but lacks a discrete terminal nerve. In other respects its olfactory system resembles the plesiomorphic pattern for craniates. 2) The optic nerve is plicated, a character found in many but not all gnathostomes. Latimeria retains an interdigitated partial decussation of the optic nerves, a character found in all craniates surveyed. 3) The oculomotor nerve supplies the same extrinsic eye muscles as in lampreys and gnathostomes. As in gnathostomes generally, Latimeria has a ciliary ganglion but its cells are located intracranially in the root of the oculomotor nerve, and their processes reach the eye via oculomotor and profundal rami. 4) The trochlear nerve supplies the superior oblique muscle as in all craniates that have not secondarily reduced the eye and its extrinsic musculature. 5) The profundal ganglion and ramus are entirely separate from the trigeminal system, with no exchange of fibers. This character has an interesting phylogenetic distribution: in hagfishes, lampreys, lungfishes and tetrapods, the profundal and trigeminal ganglia are fused, whereas in other taxa surveyed the ganglia are separate. The principal tissues innervated by the profundal nerve are the membranous walls of the tubes of the rostral organ. 6) As in lampreys and gnathostomes, the trigeminal nerve has

  8. Mesodermal origin of median fin mesenchyme and tail muscle in amphibian larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taniguchi, Yuka; Kurth, Thomas; Medeiros, Daniel Meulemans; Tazaki, Akira; Ramm, Robert; Epperlein, Hans-Henning

    2015-01-01

    Mesenchyme is an embryonic precursor tissue that generates a range of structures in vertebrates including cartilage, bone, muscle, kidney, and the erythropoietic system. Mesenchyme originates from both mesoderm and the neural crest, an ectodermal cell population, via an epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). Because ectodermal and mesodermal mesenchyme can form in close proximity and give rise to similar derivatives, the embryonic origin of many mesenchyme-derived tissues is still unclear. Recent work using genetic lineage tracing methods have upended classical ideas about the contributions of mesodermal mesenchyme and neural crest to particular structures. Using similar strategies in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), and the South African clawed toad (Xenopus laevis), we traced the origins of fin mesenchyme and tail muscle in amphibians. Here we present evidence that fin mesenchyme and striated tail muscle in both animals are derived solely from mesoderm and not from neural crest. In the context of recent work in zebrafish, our experiments suggest that trunk neural crest cells in the last common ancestor of tetrapods and ray-finned fish lacked the ability to form ectomesenchyme and its derivatives.

  9. The pigmentary system of developing axolotls. I. A biochemical and structural analysis of chromatophores in wild-type axolotls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frost, S K; Epp, L G; Robinson, S J

    1984-06-01

    A biochemical and transmission electron microscopic description of the wild-type pigment phenotype in developing Mexican axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) is presented. There are three pigment cell types found in adult axolotl skin - melanophores, xanthophores and iridophores. Both pigments and pigment cells undergo specific developmental changes in axolotls. Melanophores are the predominant pigment cell type throughout development; xanthophores occur secondarily and in fewer numbers than melanophores; iridophores do not appear until well into the larval stage and remain thereafter as the least frequently encountered pigment cell type. Ultrastructural differences in xanthophore organelle (pterinosome) structure at different developmental stages correlate with changes in the pattern of pteridine biosynthesis. Sepiapterin, a yellow pteridine, is present in larval axolotl skin but not in adults. Riboflavin (also yellow) is present in minimal quantities in larval skin and large quantities in adult axolotl skin. Pterinosomes undergo a morphological "reversion" at some point prior to or shortly after axolotls attain sexual maturity. Correlated with the neotenic state of the axolotl, certain larval pigmentary features are retained throughout development. Notably, the pigment cells remain scattered in the dermis such that no two pigment cell bodies overlap, although cell processes may overlap. This study forms the basis for comparison of the wild type pigment phenotype to the three mutant phenotypes-melanoid, axanthic and albino-found in the axolotl.

  10. The pigmentary system of developing axolotls. III. An analysis of the albino phenotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frost, S K; Epp, L G; Robinson, S J

    1986-03-01

    The albino mutant in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is analysed with respect to the differentiation of pigment cells. Pigment cells were observed with the transmission electron microscope in order to determine any unusual structural characteristics and to determine what happens to each of the cell types as development proceeds. Chemical analyses of pteridine pigments were also carried out, and the pattern of pteridines in albino animals was found to be more complex than, and quantitatively enhanced (at all developmental stages examined) over, the pattern observed in comparable wild-type axolotls. The golden colour of albino axolotls is due primarily to sepiapterin (a yellow pteridine) and secondarily to riboflavin (and other flavins). Coincident with enhanced levels of yellow pigments, xanthophore pigment organelles (pterinosomes) in albino skin reach a mature state earlier than they do in wild-type axolotl skin. This morphology is conserved throughout development in albino animals whereas it is gradually lost in the wild type. Unpigmented melanophores from albino axolotls are illustrated for the first time, and in larval albino axolotls the morphology of these cells is shown to be very similar to xanthophore morphology. In older animals xanthophores are easily distinguished from unpigmented melanophores. Iridophores seem to appear in albino skin at an earlier stage than they have been observed in wild-type skin. Morphologically, wild-type and albino iridophores are identical.

  11. Drought, deluge and declines: the impact of precipitation extremes on amphibians in a changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walls, Susan C.; Barichivich, William J.; Brown, Mary E.

    2013-01-01

    The Class Amphibia is one of the most severely impacted taxa in an on-going global biodiversity crisis. Because amphibian reproduction is tightly associated with the presence of water, climatic changes that affect water availability pose a particularly menacing threat to both aquatic and terrestrial-breeding amphibians. We explore the impacts that one facet of climate change—that of extreme variation in precipitation—may have on amphibians. This variation is manifested principally as increases in the incidence and severity of both drought and major storm events. We stress the need to consider not only total precipitation amounts but also the pattern and timing of rainfall events. Such rainfall “pulses” are likely to become increasingly more influential on amphibians, especially in relation to seasonal reproduction. Changes in reproductive phenology can strongly influence the outcome of competitive and predatory interactions, thus potentially altering community dynamics in assemblages of co-existing species. We present a conceptual model to illustrate possible landscape and metapopulation consequences of alternative climate change scenarios for pond-breeding amphibians, using the Mole Salamander, Ambystoma talpoideum, as an example. Although amphibians have evolved a variety of life history strategies that enable them to cope with environmental uncertainty, it is unclear whether adaptations can keep pace with the escalating rate of climate change. Climate change, especially in combination with other stressors, is a daunting challenge for the persistence of amphibians and, thus, the conservation of global biodiversity.

  12. Estimating superpopulation size and annual probability of breeding for pond-breeding salamanders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinkead, K.E.; Otis, D.L.

    2007-01-01

    It has long been accepted that amphibians can skip breeding in any given year, and environmental conditions act as a cue for breeding. In this paper, we quantify temporary emigration or nonbreeding probability for mole and spotted salamanders (Ambystoma talpoideum and A. maculatum). We estimated that 70% of mole salamanders may skip breeding during an average rainfall year and 90% may skip during a drought year. Spotted salamanders may be more likely to breed, with only 17% avoiding the breeding pond during an average rainfall year. We illustrate how superpopulations can be estimated using temporary emigration probability estimates. The superpopulation is the total number of salamanders associated with a given breeding pond. Although most salamanders stay within a certain distance of a breeding pond for the majority of their life spans, it is difficult to determine true overall population sizes for a given site if animals are only captured during a brief time frame each year with some animals unavailable for capture at any time during a given year. ?? 2007 by The Herpetologists' League, Inc.

  13. Non-additive effects of intra- and interspecific competition between two larval salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Thomas L; Whiteman, Howard H

    2015-05-01

    Assessment of the relative strengths of intra- and interspecific competition has increased in recent years and is critical to understanding the importance of competition. Yet, whether intra- and interspecific competition can have non-additive effects has rarely been tested. The resulting fitness consequences of such non-additive interactions are important to provide the context necessary to advance our understanding of competition theory. We compared the strength of additive and non-additive intra- and interspecific competition by manipulating densities of a pair of larval salamanders (Ambystoma talpoideum and A. maculatum) in experimental mesocosms within a response surface design. Intraspecific density had the strongest effect on the strength of competition for both species, and few observed comparisons indicated interspecific competition was an important factor in predicting body size, growth or larval period length of either species. Non-additive effects of intra- and interspecific competition influenced some response variables, including size and mass at metamorphosis in A. maculatum, but at a reduced strength compared to intraspecific effects alone. Intraspecific competition was thus the dominant biotic interaction, but non-additive effects also impact the outcome of competition in these species, validating the importance of testing for and incorporating non-additive density effects into competition models.

  14. Drought, Deluge and Declines: The Impact of Precipitation Extremes on Amphibians in a Changing Climate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan C. Walls

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The Class Amphibia is one of the most severely impacted taxa in an on-going global biodiversity crisis. Because amphibian reproduction is tightly associated with the presence of water, climatic changes that affect water availability pose a particularly menacing threat to both aquatic and terrestrial-breeding amphibians. We explore the impacts that one facet of climate change—that of extreme variation in precipitation—may have on amphibians. This variation is manifested principally as increases in the incidence and severity of both drought and major storm events. We stress the need to consider not only total precipitation amounts but also the pattern and timing of rainfall events. Such rainfall “pulses” are likely to become increasingly more influential on amphibians, especially in relation to seasonal reproduction. Changes in reproductive phenology can strongly influence the outcome of competitive and predatory interactions, thus potentially altering community dynamics in assemblages of co-existing species. We present a conceptual model to illustrate possible landscape and metapopulation consequences of alternative climate change scenarios for pond-breeding amphibians, using the Mole Salamander, Ambystoma talpoideum, as an example. Although amphibians have evolved a variety of life history strategies that enable them to cope with environmental uncertainty, it is unclear whether adaptations can keep pace with the escalating rate of climate change. Climate change, especially in combination with other stressors, is a daunting challenge for the persistence of amphibians and, thus, the conservation of global biodiversity.

  15. Multiple stressors in amphibian communities: Effects of chemical contamination, bullfrogs, and fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boone, M.D.; Semlitsch, R.D.; Little, E.E.; Doyle, M.C.

    2007-01-01

    A leading hypothesis of amphibian population declines is that combinations of multiple stressors contribute to declines. We examined the role that chemical contamination, competition, and predation play singly and in combination in aquatic amphibian communities. We exposed larvae of American toads (Bufo americanus), southern leopard frogs (Rana sphenocephala), and spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) to overwintered bullfrog tadpoles (R. catesbeiana), bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus), the insecticide carbaryl, and ammonium nitrate fertilizer in 1000-L mesocosms. Most significantly, our study demonstrated that the presence of multiple factors reduced survival of B. americanus and A. maculatum and lengthened larval periods of R. sphenocephala. The presence of bluegill had the largest impact on the community; it eliminated B. americanus and A. maculatum and reduced the abundance of R. sphenocephala. Chemical contaminants had the second strongest effect on the community with the insecticide, reducing A. maculatum abundance by 50% and increasing the mass of anurans (frogs and toads) at metamorphosis; the fertilizer positively influenced time and mass at metamorphosis for both anurans and A. maculatum. Presence of overwintered bullfrogs reduced mass and increased time to metamorphosis of anurans. While both bluegill and overwintered bullfrog tadpoles had negative effects on the amphibian community, they performed better in the presence of one another and in contaminated habitats. Our results indicate that predicting deleterious combinations from single-factor effects may not be straightforward. Our research supports the hypothesis that combinations of factors can negatively impact some amphibian species and could contribute to population declines. ?? 2007 by the Ecological Society of America.

  16. Ancient DNA assessment of tiger salamander population in Yellowstone National Park.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMenamin, Sarah K; Hadly, Elizabeth A

    2012-01-01

    Recent data indicates that blotched tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum melanostictum) in northern regions of Yellowstone National Park are declining due to climate-related habitat changes. In this study, we used ancient and modern mitochondrial haplotype diversity to model the effective size of this amphibian population through recent geological time and to assess past responses to climatic changes in the region. Using subfossils collected from a cave in northern Yellowstone, we analyzed >700 base pairs of mitochondrial sequence from 16 samples ranging in age from 100 to 3300 years old and found that all shared an identical haplotype. Although mitochondrial diversity was extremely low within the living population, we still were able to detect geographic subdivision within the local area. Using serial coalescent modelling with Bayesian priors from both modern and ancient genetic data we simulated a range of probable population sizes and mutation rates through time. Our simulations suggest that regional mitochondrial diversity has remained relatively constant even through climatic fluctuations of recent millennia.

  17. Ancient DNA assessment of tiger salamander population in Yellowstone National Park.

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    Sarah K McMenamin

    Full Text Available Recent data indicates that blotched tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum melanostictum in northern regions of Yellowstone National Park are declining due to climate-related habitat changes. In this study, we used ancient and modern mitochondrial haplotype diversity to model the effective size of this amphibian population through recent geological time and to assess past responses to climatic changes in the region. Using subfossils collected from a cave in northern Yellowstone, we analyzed >700 base pairs of mitochondrial sequence from 16 samples ranging in age from 100 to 3300 years old and found that all shared an identical haplotype. Although mitochondrial diversity was extremely low within the living population, we still were able to detect geographic subdivision within the local area. Using serial coalescent modelling with Bayesian priors from both modern and ancient genetic data we simulated a range of probable population sizes and mutation rates through time. Our simulations suggest that regional mitochondrial diversity has remained relatively constant even through climatic fluctuations of recent millennia.

  18. Relative abundance of amphibians in forest canopy gaps of natural origin vs. timber harvest origin

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    Strojny, C. A.

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Small-scale canopy gaps created by logging may retain adequate habitat structure to maintain amphibian abundance. We used pitfalls with drift fences to measure relative abundance of amphibians in 44 harvested gaps, 19 natural treefall gaps, and 36 closed-canopy forest plots. Metamorphs had relatively lower capture rates in large harvest gaps for Ambystoma maculatum, Lithobates catesbeianus, L. clamitans, and L. sylvaticus but we did not detect statistically significant (p < 0.1 differences among gap types for Lithobates palustris metamorphs. L. clamitans juveniles and L. sylvaticus juveniles and adults had relatively lower capture rates in large harvest gaps. For juvenile-adult A. maculatum, we caught relatively fewer individuals in all gap types than in closed-canopy areas. Some groups with overall lower capture rates (immature Plethodon cinereus, juvenile L. palustris had mixed differences among gap types, and Notophthalmus viridescens (efts and adult P. cinereus showed no differences among gap types. One species, L. clamitans, was captured more often at gap edges than gap centers. These results suggest that harvest gaps, especially small gaps, provided habitat similar to natural gaps for some, but not all, amphibian species or life-stages.

  19. Effect of road deicing salt on the susceptibility of amphibian embryos to infection by water molds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karraker, Nancy E; Ruthig, Gregory R

    2009-01-01

    Some causative agents of amphibian declines act synergistically to impact individual amphibians and their populations. In particular, pathogenic water molds (aquatic oomycetes) interact with environmental stressors and increase mortality in amphibian embryos. We documented colonization of eggs of three amphibian species, the wood frog (Rana sylvatica), the green frog (Rana clamitans), and the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum), by water molds in the field and examined the interactive effects of road deicing salt and water molds, two known sources of mortality for amphibian embryos, on two species, R. clamitans and A. maculatum in the laboratory. We found that exposure to water molds did not affect embryonic survivorship in either A. maculatum or R. clamitans, regardless of the concentration of road salt to which their eggs were exposed. Road salt decreased survivorship of A. maculatum, but not R. clamitans, and frequency of malformations increased significantly in both species at the highest salinity concentration. The lack of an effect of water molds on survival of embryos and no interaction between road salt and water molds indicates that observations of colonization of these eggs by water molds in the field probably represent a secondary invasion of unfertilized eggs or of embryos that had died of other causes. Given increasing salinization of freshwater habitats on several continents and the global distribution of water molds, our results suggest that some amphibian species may not be susceptible to the combined effects of these factors, permitting amphibian decline researchers to devote their attention to other potential causes.

  20. From "Duck Factory" to "Fish Factory": Climate induced changes in vertebrate communities of prairie pothole wetlands and small lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLean, Kyle I.; Mushet, David M.; Stockwell, Craig A.

    2016-01-01

    The Prairie Pothole Region’s myriad wetlands and small lakes contribute to its stature as the “duck factory” of North America. The fishless nature of the region’s aquatic habitats, a result of frequent drying, freezing, and high salinity, influences its importance to waterfowl. Recent precipitation increases have resulted in higher water levels and wetland/lake freshening. In 2012–13, we sampled chemical characteristics and vertebrates (fish and salamanders) of 162 Prairie Pothole wetlands and small lakes. We used non-metric multidimensional scaling, principal component analysis, and bootstrapping techniques to reveal relationships. We found fish present in a majority of sites (84 %). Fish responses to water chemistry varied by species. Fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) and brook sticklebacks (Culaea inconstans) occurred across the broadest range of conditions. Yellow perch (Perca flavescens) occurred in a smaller, chemically defined, subset. Iowa darters (Etheostoma exile) were restricted to the narrowest range of conditions. Tiger salamanders (Ambystoma mavortium) rarely occurred in lakes with fish. We also compared our chemical data to similar data collected in 1966–1976 to explore factors contributing to the expansion of fish into previously fishless sites. Our work contributes to a better understanding of relationships between aquatic biota and climate-induced changes in this ecologically important area.

  1. The Axolotl Fibula as a Model for the Induction of Regeneration across Large Segment Defects in Long Bones of the Extremities.

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    Xiaoping Chen

    Full Text Available We tested the ability of the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum fibula to regenerate across segment defects of different size in the absence of intervention or after implant of a unique 8-braid pig small intestine submucosa (SIS scaffold, with or without incorporated growth factor combinations or tissue protein extract. Fractures and defects of 10% and 20% of the total limb length regenerated well without any intervention, but 40% and 50% defects failed to regenerate after either simple removal of bone or implanting SIS scaffold alone. By contrast, scaffold soaked in the growth factor combination BMP-4/HGF or in protein extract of intact limb tissue promoted partial or extensive induction of cartilage and bone across 50% segment defects in 30%-33% of cases. These results show that BMP-4/HGF and intact tissue protein extract can promote the events required to induce cartilage and bone formation across a segment defect larger than critical size and that the long bones of axolotl limbs are an inexpensive model to screen soluble factors and natural and synthetic scaffolds for their efficacy in stimulating this process.

  2. Identification of Conserved and Novel MicroRNAs during Tail Regeneration in the Mexican Axolotl

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    Micah D. Gearhart

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The Mexican axolotl salamander (Ambystoma mexicanum is one member of a select group of vertebrate animals that have retained the amazing ability to regenerate multiple body parts. In addition to being an important model system for regeneration, the axolotl has also contributed extensively to studies of basic development. While many genes known to play key roles during development have now been implicated in various forms of regeneration, much of the regulatory apparatus controlling the underlying molecular circuitry remains unknown. In recent years, microRNAs have been identified as key regulators of gene expression during development, in many diseases and also, increasingly, in regeneration. Here, we have used deep sequencing combined with qRT-PCR to undertake a comprehensive identification of microRNAs involved in regulating regeneration in the axolotl. Specifically, among the microRNAs that we have found to be expressed in axolotl tissues, we have identified 4564 microRNA families known to be widely conserved among vertebrates, as well as 59,811 reads of putative novel microRNAs. These findings support the hypothesis that microRNAs play key roles in managing the precise spatial and temporal patterns of gene expression that ensures the correct regeneration of missing tissues.

  3. Genic regions of a large salamander genome contain long introns and novel genes

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    Bryant Susan V

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The basis of genome size variation remains an outstanding question because DNA sequence data are lacking for organisms with large genomes. Sixteen BAC clones from the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum: c-value = 32 × 109 bp were isolated and sequenced to characterize the structure of genic regions. Results Annotation of genes within BACs showed that axolotl introns are on average 10× longer than orthologous vertebrate introns and they are predicted to contain more functional elements, including miRNAs and snoRNAs. Loci were discovered within BACs for two novel EST transcripts that are differentially expressed during spinal cord regeneration and skin metamorphosis. Unexpectedly, a third novel gene was also discovered while manually annotating BACs. Analysis of human-axolotl protein-coding sequences suggests there are 2% more lineage specific genes in the axolotl genome than the human genome, but the great majority (86% of genes between axolotl and human are predicted to be 1:1 orthologs. Considering that axolotl genes are on average 5× larger than human genes, the genic component of the salamander genome is estimated to be incredibly large, approximately 2.8 gigabases! Conclusion This study shows that a large salamander genome has a correspondingly large genic component, primarily because genes have incredibly long introns. These intronic sequences may harbor novel coding and non-coding sequences that regulate biological processes that are unique to salamanders.

  4. Myofibril-Inducing RNA (MIR is essential for tropomyosin expression and myofibrillogenesis in axolotl hearts

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    Lemanski Sharon L

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, carries the naturally-occurring recessive mutant gene 'c' that results in a failure of homozygous (c/c embryos to form hearts that beat because of an absence of organized myofibrils. Our previous studies have shown that a noncoding RNA, Myofibril-Inducing RNA (MIR, is capable of promoting myofibrillogenesis and heart beating in the mutant (c/c axolotls. The present study demonstrates that the MIR gene is essential for tropomyosin (TM expression in axolotl hearts during development. Gene expression studies show that mRNA expression of various tropomyosin isoforms in untreated mutant hearts and in normal hearts knocked down with double-stranded MIR (dsMIR are similar to untreated normal. However, at the protein level, selected tropomyosin isoforms are significantly reduced in mutant and dsMIR treated normal hearts. These results suggest that MIR is involved in controlling the translation or post-translation of various TM isoforms and subsequently of regulating cardiac contractility.

  5. Multi-scale finite element modeling allows the mechanics of amphibian neurulation to be elucidated

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xiaoguang; Brodland, G. Wayne

    2008-03-01

    The novel multi-scale computational approach introduced here makes possible a new means for testing hypotheses about the forces that drive specific morphogenetic movements. A 3D model based on this approach is used to investigate neurulation in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), a type of amphibian. The model is based on geometric data from 3D surface reconstructions of live embryos and from serial sections. Tissue properties are described by a system of cell-based constitutive equations, and parameters in the equations are determined from physical tests. The model includes the effects of Shroom-activated neural ridge reshaping and lamellipodium-driven convergent extension. A typical whole-embryo model consists of 10 239 elements and to run its 100 incremental time steps requires 2 days. The model shows that a normal phenotype does not result if lamellipodium forces are uniform across the width of the neural plate; but it can result if the lamellipodium forces decrease from a maximum value at the mid-sagittal plane to zero at the plate edge. Even the seemingly simple motions of neurulation are found to contain important features that would remain hidden, they were not studied using an advanced computational model. The present model operates in a setting where data are extremely sparse and an important outcome of the study is a better understanding of the role of computational models in such environments.

  6. Landscape genetics of alpine Sierra Nevada salamanders reveal extreme population subdivision in space and time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage, Wesley K; Fremier, Alexander K; Shaffer, H Bradley

    2010-08-01

    Quantifying the influence of the landscape on the genetic structure of natural populations remains an important empirical challenge, particularly for poorly studied, ecologically cryptic species. We conducted an extensive microsatellite analysis to examine the population genetics of the southern long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum sigillatum) in a naturally complex landscape. Using spatially explicit modelling, we investigated the influence of the Sierra Nevada topography on potential dispersal corridors between sampled populations. Our results indicate very high-genetic divergence among populations, high within-deme relatedness, and little evidence of recent migration or population admixture. We also discovered unexpectedly high between-year genetic differentiation (F(ST)) for breeding sites, suggesting that breeding groups vary over localized space and time. While environmental factors associated with high-elevation montane habitats apparently play an important role in shaping population differentiation, additional, species-specific biological processes must also be operating to account for observed deviations from temporal, among-year panmixia. Our study emphasizes the population-level insights that can be gained from high-density sampling in space and time, and the highly substructured population biology that may characterize amphibians in extreme montane habitats.

  7. Cooperative regulation of substrate stiffness and extracellular matrix proteins in skin wound healing of axolotls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Ting-Yu; Wu, Cheng-Han; Wang, Mu-Hui; Chen, Bo-Sung; Chiou, Ling-Ling; Lee, Hsuan-Shu

    2015-01-01

    Urodele amphibians (Ambystoma mexicanum), unique among vertebrates, can regenerate appendages and other body parts entirely and functionally through a scar-free healing process. The wound epithelium covering the amputated or damaged site forms early and is essential for initiating the subsequent regenerative steps. However, the molecular mechanism through which the wound reepithelializes during regeneration remains unclear. In this study, we developed an in vitro culture system that mimics an in vivo wound healing process; the biomechanical properties in the system were precisely defined and manipulated. Skin explants that were cultured on 2 to 50 kPa collagen-coated substrates rapidly reepithelialized within 10 to 15 h; however, in harder (1 GPa) and other extracellular matrices (tenascin-, fibronectin-, and laminin-coated environments), the wound epithelium moved slowly. Furthermore, the reepithelialization rate of skin explants from metamorphic axolotls cultured on a polystyrene plate (1 GPa) increased substantially. These findings afford new insights and can facilitate investigating wound epithelium formation during early regeneration using biochemical and mechanical techniques.

  8. The evolution of foraging rate across local and geographic gradients in predation risk and competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urban, Mark C; Richardson, Jonathan L

    2015-07-01

    Multiple theories predict the evolution of foraging rates in response to environmental variation in predation risk, intraspecific competition, time constraints, and temperature. We tested six hypotheses for the evolution of foraging rate in 24 spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) populations from three latitudinally divergent sites using structural equation models derived from theory and applied to our system. We raised salamander larvae in a common-garden experiment and then assayed foraging rate under controlled conditions. Gape-limited predation risk from marbled salamanders solely explained foraging rate variation among populations at the southern site, which was dominated by this form of selection. However, at the middle and northern sites, populations evolved different foraging rates depending on their unique responses to local intraspecific density. The coupling of gape-limited predation risk from marbled salamanders and high intraspecific density at the middle site jointly contributed to selection for rapid foraging rate. At the northernmost site, intraspecific density alone explained 97% of the interpopulation variation in foraging rate. These results suggest that foraging rate has evolved multiple times in response to varying contributions from predation risk and intraspecific competition. Predation risk often varies along environmental gradients, and, thus, organisms might often shift evolutionary responses from minimizing predation risk to maximizing intraspecific competitive performance.

  9. Drought, deluge and declines: the impact of precipitation extremes on amphibians in a changing climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walls, Susan C; Barichivich, William J; Brown, Mary E

    2013-03-11

    The Class Amphibia is one of the most severely impacted taxa in an on-going global biodiversity crisis. Because amphibian reproduction is tightly associated with the presence of water, climatic changes that affect water availability pose a particularly menacing threat to both aquatic and terrestrial-breeding amphibians. We explore the impacts that one facet of climate change-that of extreme variation in precipitation-may have on amphibians. This variation is manifested principally as increases in the incidence and severity of both drought and major storm events. We stress the need to consider not only total precipitation amounts but also the pattern and timing of rainfall events. Such rainfall "pulses" are likely to become increasingly more influential on amphibians, especially in relation to seasonal reproduction. Changes in reproductive phenology can strongly influence the outcome of competitive and predatory interactions, thus potentially altering community dynamics in assemblages of co-existing species. We present a conceptual model to illustrate possible landscape and metapopulation consequences of alternative climate change scenarios for pond-breeding amphibians, using the Mole Salamander, Ambystoma talpoideum, as an example. Although amphibians have evolved a variety of life history strategies that enable them to cope with environmental uncertainty, it is unclear whether adaptations can keep pace with the escalating rate of climate change. Climate change, especially in combination with other stressors, is a daunting challenge for the persistence of amphibians and, thus, the conservation of global biodiversity.

  10. Comparative and phylogenetic perspectives of the cleavage process in tailed amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desnitskiy, Alexey G; Litvinchuk, Spartak N

    2015-10-01

    The order Caudata includes about 660 species and displays a variety of important developmental traits such as cleavage pattern and egg size. However, the cleavage process of tailed amphibians has never been analyzed within a phylogenetic framework. We use published data on the embryos of 36 species concerning the character of the third cleavage furrow (latitudinal, longitudinal or variable) and the magnitude of synchronous cleavage period (up to 3-4 synchronous cell divisions in the animal hemisphere or a considerably longer series of synchronous divisions followed by midblastula transition). Several species from basal caudate families Cryptobranchidae (Andrias davidianus and Cryptobranchus alleganiensis) and Hynobiidae (Onychodactylus japonicus) as well as several representatives from derived families Plethodontidae (Desmognathus fuscus and Ensatina eschscholtzii) and Proteidae (Necturus maculosus) are characterized by longitudinal furrows of the third cleavage and the loss of synchrony as early as the 8-cell stage. By contrast, many representatives of derived families Ambystomatidae and Salamandridae have latitudinal furrows of the third cleavage and extensive period of synchronous divisions. Our analysis of these ontogenetic characters mapped onto a phylogenetic tree shows that the cleavage pattern of large, yolky eggs with short series of synchronous divisions is an ancestral trait for the tailed amphibians, while the data on the orientation of third cleavage furrows seem to be ambiguous with respect to phylogeny. Nevertheless, the midblastula transition, which is characteristic of the model species Ambystoma mexicanum (Caudata) and Xenopus laevis (Anura), might have evolved convergently in these two amphibian orders.

  11. Cardiac performance correlates of relative heart ventricle mass in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kluthe, Gregory J; Hillman, Stanley S

    2013-08-01

    This study used an in situ heart preparation to analyze the power output and stroke work of spontaneously beating hearts of four anurans (Rhinella marina, Lithobates catesbeianus, Xenopus laevis, Pyxicephalus edulis) and three urodeles (Necturus maculosus, Ambystoma tigrinum, Amphiuma tridactylum) that span a representative range of relative ventricle mass (RVM) found in amphibians. Previous research has documented that RVM correlates with dehydration tolerance and maximal aerobic capacity in amphibians. The power output (mW g(-1) ventricle mass) and stroke work (mJ g(-1) ventricle muscle mass) were independent of RVM and were indistinguishable from previously published results for fish and reptiles. RVM was significantly correlated with maximum power output (P max, mW kg(-1) body mass), stroke volume, cardiac output, afterload pressure (P O) at P max, and preload pressure (P I) at P max. P I at P max and P O at P max also correlated very closely with each other. The increases in both P I and P O at maximal power outputs in large hearts suggest that concomitant increases in blood volume and/or increased modulation of vascular compliance either anatomically or via sympathetic tone on the venous vasculature would be necessary to achieve P max in vivo. Hypotheses for variation in RVM and its concomitant increased P max in amphibians are developed.

  12. Presence and prevalence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in commercial amphibians in Mexico City.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galindo-Bustos, Miguel Angel; Hernandez-Jauregui, Dulce María Brousset; Cheng, Tina; Vredenburg, Vance; Parra-Olea, Gabriela

    2014-12-01

    In Mexico City, native and exotic amphibians are commonly sold through the pet trade. This study investigates the presence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) in native amphibians being sold at two commercial markets and at a herpetarium in Mexico City. A total of 238 individuals (6 genera and 12 species) were tested for Bd using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis. There were 197 Bd-positive individuals (prevalence 82%) from five species of amphibians. Hyla eximia from the markets had very high Bd prevalence (100%; 76/76 and 99%; 88/89) but those from the herpetarium were Bd negative (0/12). Ambystoma mexicanum from the herpetarium also had a high Bd-positive prevalence (80%; 28/35). Though A. mexicanum is nearly extinct in the wild, a commercial market continues to flourish through the pet trade. Now that captive colonies of A. mexicanum are currently used for reintroduction programs, the authors recommend quarantine to reduce spread of Bd via movement of infected animals in the trade and between colonies and via disposal of wastewater from captive collections.

  13. Cooperative Regulation of Substrate Stiffness and Extracellular Matrix Proteins in Skin Wound Healing of Axolotls

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ting-Yu Huang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Urodele amphibians (Ambystoma mexicanum, unique among vertebrates, can regenerate appendages and other body parts entirely and functionally through a scar-free healing process. The wound epithelium covering the amputated or damaged site forms early and is essential for initiating the subsequent regenerative steps. However, the molecular mechanism through which the wound reepithelializes during regeneration remains unclear. In this study, we developed an in vitro culture system that mimics an in vivo wound healing process; the biomechanical properties in the system were precisely defined and manipulated. Skin explants that were cultured on 2 to 50 kPa collagen-coated substrates rapidly reepithelialized within 10 to 15 h; however, in harder (1 GPa and other extracellular matrices (tenascin-, fibronectin-, and laminin-coated environments, the wound epithelium moved slowly. Furthermore, the reepithelialization rate of skin explants from metamorphic axolotls cultured on a polystyrene plate (1 GPa increased substantially. These findings afford new insights and can facilitate investigating wound epithelium formation during early regeneration using biochemical and mechanical techniques.

  14. Cannibalistic-morph Tiger Salamanders in unexpected ecological contexts

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLean, Kyle I.; Stockwell, Craig A.; Mushet, David M.

    2016-01-01

    Barred tiger salamanders [Ambystoma mavortium (Baird, 1850)] exhibit two trophic morphologies; a typical and a cannibalistic morph. Cannibalistic morphs, distinguished by enlarged vomerine teeth, wide heads, slender bodies, and cannibalistic tendencies, are often found where conspecifics occur at high density. During 2012 and 2013, 162 North Dakota wetlands and lakes were sampled for salamanders. Fifty-one contained A. mavortium populations; four of these contained cannibalistic morph individuals. Two populations with cannibalistic morphs occurred at sites with high abundances of conspecifics. However, the other two populations occurred at sites with unexpectedly low conspecific but high fathead minnow [Pimephales promelas (Rafinesque, 1820)] abundances. Further, no typical morphs were observed in either of these later two populations, contrasting with earlier research suggesting cannibalistic morphs only occur at low frequencies in salamander populations. Another anomaly of all four populations was the occurrence of cannibalistic morphs in permanent water sites, suggesting their presence was due to factors other than faster growth allowing them to occupy ephemeral habitats. Therefore, our findings suggest environmental factors inducing the cannibalistic morphism may be more complex than previously thought.

  15. Influence of drought on salamander occupancy of isolated wetlands on the southeastern Coastal Plain of the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walls, Susan C.; Barichivich, William J.; Brown, Mary E.; Scott, David E.; Hossack, Blake R.

    2013-01-01

    In the southeastern U.S., changes in temperature and precipitation over the last three decades have been the most dramatic in winter and spring seasons. Continuation of these trends could negatively impact pond-breeding amphibians, especially those that rely on winter and spring rains to fill seasonal wetlands, trigger breeding, and ensure reproductive success. From 2009 to 2012, we monitored Spring and Fall presence of aquatic stages (larval and paedomorphic, gilled adult) of a winter-breeding amphibian (the mole salamander, Ambystoma talpoideum) and used multi-season models to estimate occupancy, local colonization and extinction. Seasonal estimates of occupancy, corrected for imperfect detection, declined from 22.3 % of ponds in Spring 2009 to 9.9 % in Fall 2012. Our best supported model suggested that changes in occupancy were driven by increased rates of extinction that corresponded with drought-related drying of ponds. Based on uncertainty in climate change projections for the Southeast, we present a conceptual model of predicted changes in wetland hydroperiods across a landscape with projected decreases and increases in future precipitation. Such precipitation changes could alter wetland hydroperiods, facilitate extinctions of species adapted to short, intermediate or long hydroperiod environments and, ultimately, modify the composition of amphibian communities within freshwater wetland ecosystems.

  16. Larval long-toed salamanders incur nonconsumptive effects in the presence of nonnative trout

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenison, Erin K.; Litt, Andrea R.; Pilliod, David; McMahon, Thomas E.

    2016-01-01

    Predators can influence prey directly through consumption or indirectly through nonconsumptive effects (NCEs) by altering prey behavior, morphology, and life history. We investigated whether predator-avoidance behaviors by larval long-toed salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum) in lakes with nonnative trout result in NCEs on morphology and development. Field studies in lakes with and without trout were corroborated by experimental enclosures, where prey were exposed only to visual and chemical cues of predators. We found that salamanders in lakes with trout were consistently smaller than in lakes without trout: 38% lower weight, 24% shorter body length, and 29% shorter tail length. Similarly, salamanders in protective enclosures grew 2.9 times slower when exposed to visual and olfactory trout cues than when no trout cues were present. Salamanders in trout-free lakes and enclosures were 22.7 times and 1.48 times, respectively, more likely to metamorphose during the summer season than those exposed to trout in lakes and/or their cues. Observed changes in larval growth rate and development likely resulted from a facultative response to predator-avoidance behavior and demonstrate NCEs occurred even when predation risk was only perceived. Reduced body size and growth, as well as delayed metamorphosis, could have ecological consequences for salamander populations existing with fish if those effects carry-over into lower recruitment, survival, and fecundity.

  17. Non-additive response of larval ringed salamanders to intraspecific density.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ousterhout, Brittany H; Semlitsch, Raymond D

    2016-04-01

    Conditions experienced in early developmental stages can have long-term consequences for individual fitness. High intraspecific density during the natal period can affect juvenile and eventually adult growth rates, metabolism, immune function, survival, and fecundity. Despite the important ecological and evolutionary effects of early developmental density, the form of the relationship between natal density and resulting juvenile phenotype is poorly understood. To test competing hypotheses explaining responses to intraspecific density, we experimentally manipulated the initial larval density of ringed salamanders (Ambystoma annulatum), a pond-breeding amphibian, over 11 densities. We modeled the functional form of the relationship between natal density and juvenile traits, and compared the relative support for the various hypotheses based on their goodness of fit. These functional form models were then used to parameterize a simple simulation model of population growth. Our data support non-additive density dependence and presents an alternate hypothesis to additive density dependence, self-thinning and Allee effects in larval amphibians. We posit that ringed salamander larvae may be under selective pressure for tolerance to high density and increased efficiency in resource utilization. Additionally, we demonstrate that models of population dynamics are sensitive to assumptions of the functional form of density dependence.

  18. Amphibian dynamics in constructed ponds on a wildlife refuge: developing expected responses to hydrological restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossack, Blake R.

    2017-01-01

    Management actions are based upon predictable responses. To form expected responses to restoration actions, I estimated habitat relationships and trends (2002–2015) for four pond-breeding amphibians on a wildlife refuge (Montana, USA) where changes to restore historical hydrology to the system greatly expanded (≥8 times) the flooded area of the primary breeding site for western toads (Anaxyrus boreas). Additional restoration actions are planned for the near future, including removing ponds that provide amphibian habitat. Multi-season occupancy models based on data from 15 ponds sampled during 7 years revealed that the number of breeding subpopulations increased modestly for Columbia spotted frogs (Rana luteiventris) and was stationary for long-toed salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum) and Pacific treefrogs (Pseudacris regilla). For these three species, pond depth was the characteristic that was associated most frequently with occupancy or changes in colonization and extinction. In contrast, a large decrease in colonization by western toads explained the decline from eight occupied ponds in 2002 to two ponds in 2015. This decline occurred despite an increase in wetland area and the colonization of a newly created pond. These changes highlight the challenges of managing for multiple species and how management responses can be unpredictable, possibly reducing the efficacy of targeted actions.

  19. Road deicing salt irreversibly disrupts osmoregulation of salamander egg clutches

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karraker, Nancy E., E-mail: karraker@hku.hk [Department of Environmental and Forest Biology, State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210 (United States); Gibbs, James P. [Department of Environmental and Forest Biology, State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210 (United States)

    2011-03-15

    It has been postulated that road deicing salts are sufficiently diluted by spring rains to ameliorate any physiological impacts to amphibians breeding in wetlands near roads. We tested this conjecture by exposing clutches of the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) to three chloride concentrations (1 mg/L, 145 mg/L, 945 mg/L) for nine days, then transferred clutches to control water for nine days, and measured change in mass at three-day intervals. We measured mass change because water uptake by clutches reduces risks to embryos associated with freezing, predation, and disease. Clutches in controls sequestered water asymptotically. Those in the moderate concentrations lost 18% mass initially and regained 14% after transfer to control water. Clutches in high concentration lost 33% mass and then lost an additional 8% after transfer. Our results suggest that spring rains do not ameliorate the effects of deicing salts in wetlands with extremely high chloride concentrations. - Road deicing salts irreversibly disrupts osmoregulation of salamander egg clutches.

  20. Toxicity of road salt to Nova Scotia amphibians

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Collins, Sara J. [Department of Biology, Saint Mary' s University, 923 Robie Street, Halifax, NS, B3H 3C3 (Canada); Russell, Ronald W. [Department of Biology, Saint Mary' s University, 923 Robie Street, Halifax, NS, B3H 3C3 (Canada)], E-mail: ron.russell@smu.ca

    2009-01-15

    The deposition of chemical pollutants into roadside wetlands from runoff is a current environmental concern. In northern latitudes, a major pollutant in runoff water is salt (NaCl), used as de-icing agents. In this study, 26 roadside ponds were surveyed for amphibian species richness and chloride concentration. Acute toxicity tests (LC{sub 50}) were performed on five locally common amphibian species using a range of environmentally significant NaCl concentrations. Field surveys indicated that spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) and wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) did not occupy high chloride ponds. American toads (Bufo americanus) showed no pond preference based on chloride concentration. Acute toxicity tests showed spotted salamanders and wood frogs were most sensitive to chloride, and American toads were the least. Spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) and green frogs (Rana clamitans) showed intermediate sensitivities. We concluded that chloride concentrations in ponds due to application of de-icing salts, influenced community structure by excluding salt intolerant species. - Salt toxicity is presented as a mechanism affecting the distribution of amphibians and structure of amphibian communities in roadside wetlands.

  1. Structured decision making as a conservation tool for recovery planning of two endangered salamanders

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Donnell, Katherine; Messerman, Arianne F; Barichivich, William J.; Semlitsch, Raymond D.; Gorman, Thomas A.; Mitchell, Harold G; Allan, Nathan; Fenolio, Dante B.; Green, Adam; Johnson, Fred A.; Keever, Allison; Mandica, Mark; Martin, Julien; Mott, Jana; Peacock, Terry; Reinman, Joseph; Romanach, Stephanie; Titus, Greg; McGowan, Conor; Walls, Susan

    2017-01-01

    At least one-third of all amphibian species face the threat of extinction, and current amphibian extinction rates are four orders of magnitude greater than background rates. Preventing extirpation often requires both ex situ (i.e., conservation breeding programs) and in situ strategies (i.e., protecting natural habitats). Flatwoods salamanders (Ambystoma bishopi and A. cingulatum) are protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The two species have decreased from 476 historical locations to 63 recently extant locations (86.8% loss). We suggest that recovery efforts are needed to increase populations and prevent extinction, but uncertainty regarding optimal actions in both ex situ and in situ realms hinders recovery planning. We used structured decision making (SDM) to address key uncertainties regarding both captive breeding and habitat restoration, and we developed short-, medium-, and long-term goals to achieve recovery objectives. By promoting a transparent, logical approach, SDM has proven vital to recovery plan development for flatwoods salamanders. The SDM approach has clear advantages over other previous approaches to recovery efforts, and we suggest that it should be considered for other complex decisions regarding endangered species.

  2. FGF8 and SHH substitute for anterior-posterior tissue interactions to induce limb regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nacu, Eugeniu; Gromberg, Elena; Oliveira, Catarina R; Drechsel, David; Tanaka, Elly M

    2016-05-19

    In salamanders, grafting of a left limb blastema onto a right limb stump yields regeneration of three limbs, the normal limb and two 'supernumerary' limbs. This experiment and other research have shown that the juxtaposition of anterior and posterior limb tissue plus innervation are necessary and sufficient to induce complete limb regeneration in salamanders. However, the cellular and molecular basis of the requirement for anterior-posterior tissue interactions were unknown. Here we have clarified the molecular basis of the requirement for both anterior and posterior tissue during limb regeneration and supernumerary limb formation in axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum). We show that the two tissues provide complementary cross-inductive signals that are required for limb outgrowth. A blastema composed solely of anterior tissue normally regresses rather than forming a limb, but activation of hedgehog (HH) signalling was sufficient to drive regeneration of an anterior blastema to completion owing to its ability to maintain fibroblast growth factor (FGF) expression, the key signalling activity responsible for blastema outgrowth. In blastemas composed solely of posterior tissue, HH signalling was not sufficient to drive regeneration; however, ectopic expression of FGF8 together with endogenous HH signalling was sufficient. In axolotls, FGF8 is expressed only in the anterior mesenchyme and maintenance of its expression depends on sonic hedgehog (SHH) signalling from posterior tissue. Together, our findings identify key anteriorly and posteriorly localized signals that promote limb regeneration and show that these single factors are sufficient to drive non-regenerating blastemas to complete regeneration with full elaboration of skeletal elements.

  3. Retrotransposon long interspersed nucleotide element-1 (LINE-1) is activated during salamander limb regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Wei; Kuo, Dwight; Nathanson, Jason; Satoh, Akira; Pao, Gerald M; Yeo, Gene W; Bryant, Susan V; Voss, S Randal; Gardiner, David M; Hunter, Tony

    2012-09-01

    Salamanders possess an extraordinary capacity for tissue and organ regeneration when compared to mammals. In our effort to characterize the unique transcriptional fingerprint emerging during the early phase of salamander limb regeneration, we identified transcriptional activation of some germline-specific genes within the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) that is indicative of cellular reprogramming of differentiated cells into a germline-like state. In this work, we focus on one of these genes, the long interspersed nucleotide element-1 (LINE-1) retrotransposon, which is usually active in germ cells and silent in most of the somatic tissues in other organisms. LINE-1 was found to be dramatically upregulated during regeneration. In addition, higher genomic LINE-1 content was also detected in the limb regenerate when compared to that before amputation indicating that LINE-1 retrotransposition is indeed active during regeneration. Active LINE-1 retrotransposition has been suggested to have a potentially deleterious impact on genomic integrity. Silencing of activated LINE-1 by small RNAs has been reported to be part of the machinery aiming to maintain genomic integrity. Indeed, we were able to identify putative LINE-1-related piRNAs in the limb blastema. Transposable element-related piRNAs have been identified frequently in the germline in other organisms. Thus, we present here a scenario in which a unique germline-like state is established during axolotl limb regeneration, and the re-activation of LINE-1 may serve as a marker for cellular dedifferentiation in the early-stage of limb regeneration.

  4. Identification of Conserved and Novel MicroRNAs during Tail Regeneration in the Mexican Axolotl.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gearhart, Micah D; Erickson, Jami R; Walsh, Andrew; Echeverri, Karen

    2015-09-11

    The Mexican axolotl salamander (Ambystoma mexicanum) is one member of a select group of vertebrate animals that have retained the amazing ability to regenerate multiple body parts. In addition to being an important model system for regeneration, the axolotl has also contributed extensively to studies of basic development. While many genes known to play key roles during development have now been implicated in various forms of regeneration, much of the regulatory apparatus controlling the underlying molecular circuitry remains unknown. In recent years, microRNAs have been identified as key regulators of gene expression during development, in many diseases and also, increasingly, in regeneration. Here, we have used deep sequencing combined with qRT-PCR to undertake a comprehensive identification of microRNAs involved in regulating regeneration in the axolotl. Specifically, among the microRNAs that we have found to be expressed in axolotl tissues, we have identified 4564 microRNA families known to be widely conserved among vertebrates, as well as 59,811 reads of putative novel microRNAs. These findings support the hypothesis that microRNAs play key roles in managing the precise spatial and temporal patterns of gene expression that ensures the correct regeneration of missing tissues.

  5. Is salamander hindlimb regeneration similar to that of the forelimb? Anatomical and morphogenetic analysis of hindlimb muscle regeneration in GFP-transgenic axolotls as a basis for regenerative and developmental studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diogo, R; Murawala, P; Tanaka, E M

    2014-04-01

    The axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum is one of the most used model organisms in developmental and regenerative studies because it is commonly said that it can reconstitute a normal and fully functional forelimb/hindlimb after amputation. However, there is not a publication that has described in detail the regeneration of the axolotl hindlimb muscles. Here we describe and illustrate, for the first time, the regeneration of the thigh, leg and foot muscles in transgenic axolotls that express green fluorescent protein in muscle fibers and compare our results with data obtained by us and by other authors about axolotl forelimb regeneration and about fore- and hindlimb ontogeny in axolotls, frogs and other tetrapods. Our observations and comparisons point out that: (1) there are no muscle anomalies in any regenerated axolotl hindlimbs, in clear contrast to our previous study of axolotl forelimb regeneration, where we found muscle anomalies in 43% of the regenerated forelimbs; (2) during axolotl hindlimb regeneration there is a proximo-distal and a tibio-fibular morphogenetic gradient in the order of muscle regeneration and differentiation, but not a ventro-dorsal gradient, whereas our previous studies showed that in axolotl forelimb muscle regeneration there are proximo-distal, radio-ulnar and ventro-dorsal morphogenetic gradients. We discuss the broader implications of these observations for regenerative, evolutionary, developmental and morphogenetic studies.

  6. Activation of germline-specific genes is required for limb regeneration in the Mexican axolotl.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Wei; Pao, Gerald M; Satoh, Akira; Cummings, Gillian; Monaghan, James R; Harkins, Timothy T; Bryant, Susan V; Randal Voss, S; Gardiner, David M; Hunter, Tony

    2012-10-01

    The capacity for tissue and organ regeneration in humans is dwarfed by comparison to that of salamanders. Emerging evidence suggests that mechanisms learned from the early phase of salamander limb regeneration-wound healing, cellular dedifferentiation and blastemal formation-will reveal therapeutic approaches for tissue regeneration in humans. Here we describe a unique transcriptional fingerprint of regenerating limb tissue in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) that is indicative of cellular reprogramming of differentiated cells to a germline-like state. Two genes that are required for self-renewal of germ cells in mice and flies, Piwi-like 1 (PL1) and Piwi-like 2 (PL2), are expressed in limb blastemal cells, the basal layer keratinocytes and the thickened apical epithelial cap in the wound epidermis in the regenerating limb. Depletion of PL1 and PL2 by morpholino oligonucleotides decreased cell proliferation and increased cell death in the blastema leading to a significant retardation of regeneration. Examination of key molecules that are known to be required for limb development or regeneration further revealed that FGF8 is transcriptionally downregulated in the presence of the morpholino oligos, indicating PL1 and PL2 might participate in FGF signaling during limb regeneration. Given the requirement for FGF signaling in limb development and regeneration, the results suggest that PL1 and PL2 function to establish a unique germline-like state that is associated with successful regeneration.

  7. Precise control of miR-125b levels is required to create a regeneration-permissive environment after spinal cord injury: a cross-species comparison between salamander and rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz Quiroz, Juan Felipe; Tsai, Eve; Coyle, Matthew; Sehm, Tina; Echeverri, Karen

    2014-06-01

    Most spinal cord injuries lead to permanent paralysis in mammals. By contrast, the remarkable regenerative abilities of salamanders enable full functional recovery even from complete spinal cord transections. The molecular differences underlying this evolutionary divergence between mammals and amphibians are poorly understood. We focused on upstream regulators of gene expression as primary entry points into this question. We identified a group of microRNAs (miRNAs) that are conserved between the Mexican axolotl salamander (Ambystoma mexicanum) and mammals but show marked cross-species differences in regulation patterns following spinal cord injury. We found that precise post-injury levels of one of these miRNAs (miR-125b) is essential for functional recovery, and guides correct regeneration of axons through the lesion site in a process involving the direct downstream target Sema4D in axolotls. Translating these results to a mammalian model, we increased miR-125b levels in the rat through mimic treatments following spinal cord transection. These treatments downregulated Sema4D and other glial-scar-related genes, and enhanced the animal's functional recovery. Our study identifies a key regulatory molecule conserved between salamander and mammal, and shows that the expression of miR-125b and Sema4D must be carefully controlled in the right cells at the correct level to promote regeneration. We also show that these molecular components of the salamander's regeneration-permissive environment can be experimentally harnessed to improve treatment outcomes for mammalian spinal cord injuries.

  8. Cooperative inputs of Bmp and Fgf signaling induce tail regeneration in urodele amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makanae, Aki; Mitogawa, Kazumasa; Satoh, Akira

    2016-02-01

    Urodele amphibians have remarkable organ regeneration ability. They can regenerate not only limbs but also a tail throughout their life. It has been demonstrated that the regeneration of some organs are governed by the presence of neural tissues. For instance, limb regeneration cannot be induced without nerves. Thus, identifying the nerve factors has been the primary focus in amphibian organ regeneration research. Recently, substitute molecules for nerves in limb regeneration, Bmp and Fgfs, were identified. Cooperative inputs of Bmp and Fgfs can induce limb regeneration in the absence of nerves. In the present study, we investigated whether similar or same regeneration mechanisms control another neural tissue governed organ regeneration, i.e., tail regeneration, in Ambystoma mexicanum. Neural tissues in a tail, which is the spinal cord, could transform wound healing responses into organ regeneration responses, similar to nerves in limb regeneration. Furthermore, the identified regeneration inducer Fgf2+Fgf8+Bmp7 showed similar inductive effects. However, further analysis revealed that the blastema cells induced by Fgf2+Fgf8+Bmp7 could participate in the regeneration of several tissues, but could not organize a patterned tail. Regeneration inductive ability of Fgf2+Fgf8+Bmp7 was confirmed in another urodele, Pleurodeles waltl. These results suggest that the organ regeneration ability in urodele amphibians is controlled by a common mechanism.

  9. The Axolotl Fibula as a Model for the Induction of Regeneration across Large Segment Defects in Long Bones of the Extremities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xiaoping; Song, Fengyu; Jhamb, Deepali; Li, Jiliang; Bottino, Marco C; Palakal, Mathew J; Stocum, David L

    2015-01-01

    We tested the ability of the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) fibula to regenerate across segment defects of different size in the absence of intervention or after implant of a unique 8-braid pig small intestine submucosa (SIS) scaffold, with or without incorporated growth factor combinations or tissue protein extract. Fractures and defects of 10% and 20% of the total limb length regenerated well without any intervention, but 40% and 50% defects failed to regenerate after either simple removal of bone or implanting SIS scaffold alone. By contrast, scaffold soaked in the growth factor combination BMP-4/HGF or in protein extract of intact limb tissue promoted partial or extensive induction of cartilage and bone across 50% segment defects in 30%-33% of cases. These results show that BMP-4/HGF and intact tissue protein extract can promote the events required to induce cartilage and bone formation across a segment defect larger than critical size and that the long bones of axolotl limbs are an inexpensive model to screen soluble factors and natural and synthetic scaffolds for their efficacy in stimulating this process.

  10. Neuregulin-1 signaling is essential for nerve-dependent axolotl limb regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farkas, Johanna E; Freitas, Polina D; Bryant, Donald M; Whited, Jessica L; Monaghan, James R

    2016-08-01

    The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is capable of fully regenerating amputated limbs, but denervation of the limb inhibits the formation of the post-injury proliferative mass called the blastema. The molecular basis behind this phenomenon remains poorly understood, but previous studies have suggested that nerves support regeneration via the secretion of essential growth-promoting factors. An essential nerve-derived factor must be found in the blastema, capable of rescuing regeneration in denervated limbs, and its inhibition must prevent regeneration. Here, we show that the neuronally secreted protein Neuregulin-1 (NRG1) fulfills all these criteria in the axolotl. Immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization of NRG1 and its active receptor ErbB2 revealed that they are expressed in regenerating blastemas but lost upon denervation. NRG1 was localized to the wound epithelium prior to blastema formation and was later strongly expressed in proliferating blastemal cells. Supplementation by implantation of NRG1-soaked beads rescued regeneration to digits in denervated limbs, and pharmacological inhibition of NRG1 signaling reduced cell proliferation, blocked blastema formation and induced aberrant collagen deposition in fully innervated limbs. Taken together, our results show that nerve-dependent NRG1/ErbB2 signaling promotes blastemal proliferation in the regenerating limb and may play an essential role in blastema formation, thus providing insight into the longstanding question of why nerves are required for axolotl limb regeneration.

  11. Evolution of the head-trunk interface in tetrapod vertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sefton, Elizabeth M; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S; Mohaddes, Zahra; Hanken, James

    2016-01-01

    Vertebrate neck musculature spans the transition zone between head and trunk. The extent to which the cucullaris muscle is a cranial muscle allied with the gill levators of anamniotes or is instead a trunk muscle is an ongoing debate. Novel computed tomography datasets reveal broad conservation of the cucullaris in gnathostomes, including coelacanth and caecilian, two sarcopterygians previously thought to lack it. In chicken, lateral plate mesoderm (LPM) adjacent to occipital somites is a recently identified embryonic source of cervical musculature. We fate-map this mesoderm in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), which retains external gills, and demonstrate its contribution to posterior gill-levator muscles and the cucullaris. Accordingly, LPM adjacent to the occipital somites should be regarded as posterior cranial mesoderm. The axial position of the head-trunk border in axolotl is congruent between LPM and somitic mesoderm, unlike in chicken and possibly other amniotes. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09972.001 PMID:27090084

  12. Lmx-1b and Wnt-7a expression in axolotl limb during development and regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimokawa, Takashi; Yasutaka, Satoru; Kominami, Rieko; Shinohara, Harumichi

    2013-01-01

    Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) have the ability to regenerate amputated limbs throughout their life span. During limb regeneration as well as development, undifferentiated cells in the blastema acquire positional information to reproduce the original pattern along three cardinal limb axes: anteroposterior, proximodistal and dorsoventral. In the present study, we attempted to understand the molecular mechanism involved in patterning of axolotl limb development and regeneration along the dorsoventral (DV) axis. We cloned axolotl Lmx-1b and Wnt-7a, and investigated the expression pattern of these genes in developing and regenerating limbs. In axolotl, unlike in amniotes, Wnt-7a was expressed in a diffuse manner throughout both developing limb bud and regenerating limb blastema. Lmx-1b expression was observed at the dorsal mesenchyme in the developing and regenerating limbs. On the basis of the expression patterns of Lmx-1b and Wnt-7a, it was difficult to identify the interaction between these two genes as reported in amniotes in previous studies. Possibly, with regard to Lmx-1b expression, a Wnt-7a-independent mechanism may exist in axolotl limb development and regeneration.

  13. Highly efficient targeted mutagenesis in axolotl using Cas9 RNA-guided nuclease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flowers, G Parker; Timberlake, Andrew T; McLean, Kaitlin C; Monaghan, James R; Crews, Craig M

    2014-05-01

    Among tetrapods, only urodele salamanders, such as the axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum, can completely regenerate limbs as adults. The mystery of why salamanders, but not other animals, possess this ability has for generations captivated scientists seeking to induce this phenomenon in other vertebrates. Although many recent advances in molecular biology have allowed limb regeneration and tissue repair in the axolotl to be investigated in increasing detail, the molecular toolkit for the study of this process has been limited. Here, we report that the CRISPR-Cas9 RNA-guided nuclease system can efficiently create mutations at targeted sites within the axolotl genome. We identify individual animals treated with RNA-guided nucleases that have mutation frequencies close to 100% at targeted sites. We employ this technique to completely functionally ablate EGFP expression in transgenic animals and recapitulate developmental phenotypes produced by loss of the conserved gene brachyury. Thus, this advance allows a reverse genetic approach in the axolotl and will undoubtedly provide invaluable insight into the mechanisms of salamanders' unique regenerative ability.

  14. 美西螈胚胎鳃神经发育的形态学%Morphological Characteristics of the Branchial Nerve in Axolotl Embryos at Different Stages

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    黄明玉; 下川隆; 木南利栄子; 安高悟; 篠原治道

    2008-01-01

    在约25℃温度下孵化并选用第30~44期的美西螈(Ambystoma mexicanum)胚胎标本,用4%多聚甲醛溶液固定,进行整体标本免疫染色,体视显微镜观察.结果显示,胚胎30期,可观察到鳃神经节短小的鳃神经本干;胚胎35期,已能观察到较明显的部分分支和交通支;胚胎37期,形成上颌神经及下颌神经;胚胎38期,可观察到舌咽神经的背支、咽头支;胚胎40期,可观察到舌咽神经的鳃裂前支.因而,美西螈鳃神经在胚胎早期遵循祖先型排列的特点,之后随胚胎的发育,出现随鳃器官演化而重新分布的趋势;其舌咽神经基本保持了鳃神经的原始形态特点.

  15. High-elevation late Pleistocene (MIS 6-5) vertebrate faunas from the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site, Snowmass Village, Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sertich, Joseph J. W.; Stucky, Richard K.; McDonald, H. Gregory; Newton, Cody; Fisher, Daniel C.; Scott, Eric; Demboski, John R.; Lucking, Carol; McHorse, Brianna K.; Davis, Edward B.

    2014-11-01

    The vertebrate record at the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site (ZRFS) near Snowmass Village, Colorado ranges from ~ 140 to 77 ka, spanning all of Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 5. The site contains at least 52 taxa of macro- and microvertebrates, including one fish, three amphibian, four reptile, ten bird, and 34 mammal taxa. The most common vertebrate is Ambystoma tigrinum (tiger salamander), which is represented by > 22,000 elements representing the entire life cycle. The mastodon, Mammut americanum, is the most common mammal, and is documented by > 1800 skeletal elements making the ZRFS one of the largest accumulations of proboscidean remains in North America. Faunas at the ZRFS can be divided into two groups, a lake-margin group dating to ~ 140-100 ka that is dominated by woodland taxa, and a lake-center group dating to ~ 87-77 ka characterized by taxa favoring more open conditions. The change in faunal assemblages occurred between MIS 5c and 5a (vertebrates were absent from MIS 5b deposits), which were times of significant environmental change at the ZRFS. Furthermore, the ZRFS provides a well-dated occurrence of the extinct Bison latifrons, which has implications for the timing of the Rancholabrean Mammal Age in the region.

  16. Betahistine produces post-synaptic inhibition of the excitability of the primary afferent neurons in the vestibular endorgans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto, E; Chávez, H; Valli, P; Benvenuti, C; Vega, R

    2001-01-01

    Betahistine has been used to treat several vestibular disorders of both central and peripheral origin. The objective of this work was to study the action of betahistine in the vestibular endorgans. Experiments were done in wild larval axolotl (Ambystoma tigrinum). Multiunit extracellular recordings were obtained from the semicircular canal nerve using a suction electrode. Betahistine (10 microM to 10 mM; n = 32) inhibited the basal spike discharge of the vestibular afferent neurons with an IC50 of 600 microM. To define the site of action of betahistine, its interactions with the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor NG-nitro-L-arginine (3 microM) and with the cholinergic antagonists atropine (10 microM; n = 3) and d-tubocurarine (10 microM; n = 3) were studied. The action of betahistine when co-administered with these drugs was the same as that in control experiments, indicating that its effects did not include nitric oxide production or the activation of cholinergic receptors. In contrast, 0.01-1 mM betahistine reduced the excitatory action of kainic acid (10 microM; n = 6) and quiscualic acid (1 microM; n = 13). These results indicate that the action of betahistine on the spike discharge of afferent neurons seems to be due to a post-synaptic inhibitory action on the primary afferent neuron response to the hair cell neurotransmitter.

  17. Predator recognition learning in rainbow darters Etheostoma caeruleum: specific learning and neophobia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abudayah, W H; Mathis, A

    2016-09-01

    This study investigated whether rainbow darters Etheostoma caeruleum can learn to recognize unfamiliar predators through the process of classical conditioning. Etheostoma caeruleum were conditioned by exposing them simultaneously to their chemical alarm cues (a known fright stimulus) and either chemical cues from larval ringed salamanders Ambystoma annulatum (unfamiliar predator) or to a blank water cue (control). Conditioning could result in either specific learning of the A. annulatum cue or increased wariness in response to any novel cue (neophobia). To distinguish between these possibilities, E. caeruleum in both groups were exposed to either A. annulatum cues alone or to chemical cues from western rat snakes Pantherophis obsoletus (novel cue) 2 days after conditioning. Treatment (A. annulatum-conditioned) E. caeruleum, but not control E. caeruleum, showed a fright response when they were exposed to both the conditioned (A. annulatum) and novel (P. obsoletus) cues, indicating increased sensitivity to new stimuli. When E. caeruleum were retested after an additional 32 days, however, the fright response occurred only following exposure to the conditioned (A. annulatum) stimulus, indicating that specific learning of the A. annulatum cue had been retained whereas the neophobia to novel stimuli was temporary.

  18. Projecting invasion risk of non-native watersnakes (Nerodia fasciata and Nerodia sipedon) in the western United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, Jonathan P; Todd, Brian D

    2014-01-01

    Species distribution models (SDMs) are increasingly used to project the potential distribution of introduced species outside their native range. Such studies rarely explicitly evaluate potential conflicts with native species should the range of introduced species expand. Two snake species native to eastern North America, Nerodia fasciata and Nerodia sipedon, have been introduced to California where they represent a new stressor to declining native amphibians, fish, and reptiles. To project the potential distributions of these non-native watersnakes in western North America, we built ensemble SDMs using MaxEnt, Boosted Regression Trees, and Random Forests and habitat and climatic variables. We then compared the overlap between the projected distribution of invasive watersnakes and the distributions of imperiled native amphibians, fish, and reptiles that can serve as prey or competitors for the invaders, to estimate the risk to native species posed by non-native watersnakes. Large areas of western North America were projected to be climatically suitable for both species of Nerodia according to our ensemble SDMs, including much of central California. The potential distributions of both N. fasciata and N. sipedon overlap extensively with the federally threatened Giant Gartersnake, Thamnophis gigas, which inhabits a similar ecological niche. N. fasciata also poses risk to the federally threatened California Tiger Salamander, Ambystoma californiense, whereas N. sipedon poses risk to some amphibians of conservation concern, including the Foothill Yellow-legged Frog, Rana boylii. We conclude that non-native watersnakes in California can likely inhabit ranges of several native species of conservation concern that are expected to suffer as prey or competing species for these invaders. Action should be taken now to eradicate or control these invasions before detrimental impacts on native species are widespread. Our methods can be applied broadly to quantify the risk posed by

  19. Hindcasting Historical Breeding Conditions for an Endangered Salamander in Ephemeral Wetlands of the Southeastern USA: Implications of Climate Change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandler, Houston C; Rypel, Andrew L; Jiao, Yan; Haas, Carola A; Gorman, Thomas A

    2016-01-01

    The hydroperiod of ephemeral wetlands is often the most important characteristic determining amphibian breeding success, especially for species with long development times. In mesic and wet pine flatwoods of the southeastern United States, ephemeral wetlands were a common landscape feature. Reticulated flatwoods salamanders (Ambystoma bishopi), a federally endangered species, depend exclusively on ephemeral wetlands and require at least 11 weeks to successfully metamorphose into terrestrial adults. We empirically modeled hydroperiod of 17 A. bishopi breeding wetlands by combining downscaled historical climate-model data with a recent 9-year record (2006-2014) of observed water levels. Empirical models were subsequently used to reconstruct wetland hydrologic conditions from 1896-2014 using the downscaled historical climate datasets. Reconstructed hydroperiods for the 17 wetlands were highly variable through time but were frequently unfavorable for A. bishopi reproduction (e.g., only 61% of years, using a conservative estimate of development time [12 weeks], were conducive to larval development and metamorphosis). Using change-point analysis, we identified significant shifts in average hydroperiod over the last century in all 17 wetlands. Mean hydroperiods were shorter in recent years than at any other point since 1896, and thus less suitable for A. bishopi reproduction. We suggest that climate change will continue to impact the reproductive success of flatwoods salamanders and other ephemeral wetland breeders by reducing the number of years these wetlands have suitable hydroperiods. Consequently, we emphasize the importance of conservation and management for mitigating other forms of habitat degradation, especially maintenance of high quality breeding sites where reproduction can occur during appropriate environmental conditions.

  20. Retinal bipolar cells: temporal filtering of signals from cone photoreceptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burkhardt, Dwight A; Fahey, Patrick K; Sikora, Michael A

    2007-01-01

    The temporal dynamics of the response of neurons in the outer retina were investigated by intracellular recording from cones, bipolar, and horizontal cells in the intact, light-adapted retina of the tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum), with special emphasis on comparing the two major classes of bipolars cells, the ON depolarizing bipolars (Bd) and the OFF hyperpolarizing bipolars (Bh). Transfer functions were computed from impulse responses evoked by a brief light flash on a steady background of 20 cd/m(2). Phase delays ranged from about 89 ms for cones to 170 ms for Bd cells, yielding delays relative to that of cones of about 49 ms for Bh cells and 81 ms for Bd cells. The difference between Bd and Bh cells, which may be due to a delay introduced by the second messenger G-protein pathway unique to Bd cells, was further quantified by latency measurements and responses to white noise. The amplitude transfer functions of the outer retinal neurons varied with light adaptation in qualitative agreement with results for other vertebrates and human vision. The transfer functions at 20 cd/m(2) were predominantly low pass with 10-fold attenuation at about 13, 14, 9.1, and 7.7 Hz for cones, horizontal, Bh, and Bd cells, respectively. The transfer function from the cone voltage to the bipolar voltage response, as computed from the above measurements, was low pass and approximated by a cascade of three low pass RC filters ("leaky integrators"). These results for cone-->bipolar transmission are surprisingly similar to recent results for rod-->bipolar transmission in salamander slice preparations. These and other findings suggest that the rate of vesicle replenishment rather than the rate of release may be a common factor shaping synaptic signal transmission from rods and cones to bipolar cells.

  1. Matrix metalloproteinase production in regenerating axolotl spinal cord.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chernoff, E A; O'Hara, C M; Bauerle, D; Bowling, M

    2000-01-01

    In urodele amphibian spinal cord regeneration, the ependymal cells lining the central canal remodel the lesion site to favor axonal regrowth. We profiled the production of matrix metalloproteinases by injury-reactive mesenchymal ependymal cells in vivo and in vitro and found that matrix metalloproteinases are involved in this remodeling process in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). The production of cell-associated matrix metalloproteinases in vivo was shown to be identical to that in our cultured ependymal cell model system. Activated and zymogen forms of matrix metalloproteinases were identified using zymography, chemical inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases, and cleavage of propeptides by organomercurials. The principal cellular proteinases consisted of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (gelatinase A) and matrix metalloproteinase-1 (type I collagenase), which display characteristic shifts in molecular weight following proenzyme processing by organomercurials. In addition, ependymal cell conditioned medium contained secreted forms of the enzyme undetectable in situ. Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (gelatinase B) as well as matrix metalloproteinase-2 and matrix metalloproteinase-1 were secreted and casein substrate zymography showed the presence of a small amount of a very high molecular weight matrix metalloproteinase-3 (prostromelysin) secreted into the culture medium. Matrix metalloproteinases were still present at 4 weeks post-lesioning when the ependymal cells have just re-epithelialized, but decreased near the completion of regeneration (8 weeks post-lesioning). Zymography showed no detectable matrix metalloproteinases in unlesioned cord but the presence of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 in intact cord was seen by Western blotting. This study shows that matrix metalloproteinases are associated with urodele spinal cord regeneration and validates the use of our ependymal cell tissue culture model system to evaluate ependymal cell behavior during spinal cord

  2. The epithelia of the protrusible tongue of Eurycea longicauda guttolineata (Hoolbrook 1838) (Urodela: Plethodontidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Opolka, Alfred; Effing, Ute; Wistuba, Joachim; Clemen, Günter

    2003-02-01

    In this study the lingual and sublingual glands, the lingual stem and the epithelial surface of the protrusible secondary tongue were investigated by light, scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The quality of the secretions of the epithelia was characterized histochemically. The lingual epithelium is formed by superficial (pavement) and goblet cells and at the margin of the tongue pad are also regions covered by ciliated cells. On the dorsal part of the tongue there are goblet cells of type A with mainly acidic secretions and of type B containing neutral secretions. Most of the goblet cells on the ventral side of the tongue (hypoglottis) show a strong alcian blue/PAS positive reaction (type I) and some produce neutral secretions (type II). The glandular cells of the lingual gland react positively to alcian blue and PAS in the apical region of the gland. In contrast there is only alcian blue-positive staining in the basal part of the gland. The size and complexity of the inclusion bodies of the secretory granules increase in a basal direction. In addition, there are ciliated cells in the glandular epithelium. Although the epithelium of the lingual stem is thin, it is double-layered. The cell types observed in this region are identical to those of the ventral part of the protrusible tongue. At the margin of the sublingual gland are trough-like structures. In the center, tubular parts are observed. The cells of this gland are stain strongly with alcian blue (pH 1.0) mainly in the basal part of the gland. The results of this are compared to the tongue pad and the lingual gland of Salamandra salamandra and Ambystoma mexicanum.

  3. Rapid increases and time-lagged declines in amphibian occupancy after wildfire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossack, Blake R; Lowe, Winsor H; Corn, Paul Stephen

    2013-02-01

    Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and severity of drought and wildfire. Aquatic and moisture-sensitive species, such as amphibians, may be particularly vulnerable to these modified disturbance regimes because large wildfires often occur during extended droughts and thus may compound environmental threats. However, understanding of the effects of wildfires on amphibians in forests with long fire-return intervals is limited. Numerous stand-replacing wildfires have occurred since 1988 in Glacier National Park (Montana, U.S.A.), where we have conducted long-term monitoring of amphibians. We measured responses of 3 amphibian species to fires of different sizes, severity, and age in a small geographic area with uniform management. We used data from wetlands associated with 6 wildfires that burned between 1988 and 2003 to evaluate whether burn extent and severity and interactions between wildfire and wetland isolation affected the distribution of breeding populations. We measured responses with models that accounted for imperfect detection to estimate occupancy during prefire (0-4 years) and different postfire recovery periods. For the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum) and Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris), occupancy was not affected for 6 years after wildfire. But 7-21 years after wildfire, occupancy for both species decreased ≥ 25% in areas where >50% of the forest within 500 m of wetlands burned. In contrast, occupancy of the boreal toad (Anaxyrus boreas) tripled in the 3 years after low-elevation forests burned. This increase in occupancy was followed by a gradual decline. Our results show that accounting for magnitude of change and time lags is critical to understanding population dynamics of amphibians after large disturbances. Our results also inform understanding of the potential threat of increases in wildfire frequency or severity to amphibians in the region.

  4. Aquatics task force on environmental assessment of the Atikokn Power Plant: effects on aquatic organisms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hendrey, G.R.

    1978-11-01

    Possible impacts of an 800-MW coal-fired power plant to be built near Atikokan, Ontario were evaluated. It is feared that the emissions of SO/sub 2/ will lead to the deposition of sulfuric acid and result in the acidification of freshwaters in nearby parks and wilderness areas. The most obvious biological effects of acidification are damages to populations of fish. Less conspicuous but no less severe damages also occur to other organisms. It appears that all trophic levels are affected: species numbers are reduced, biomasses are altered, and primary production and decomposition are impaired. Field experiments and laboratory experiments indicate that microbial activity is reduced and that the recycling of materials is greatly impeded at low pH. This may interfere with nutrient supplies to plants and decrease the microbial biomass available to higher trophic levels. Phytoplankton densities decrease in acidified lakes and there is a reduction in some species of macrophytes. On the other hand, Sphagnum and benthic filamentous algae greatly increase in acidified conditions. The total primary productivity of lakes and streams may actually increase because of such dense growths on the bottom. Zooplankton and benthic invertebrate communities become less complex as acidity increases. This may in part be due to reduced food supplies, but direct inhibition by H/sub 2/SO/sub 4/ has also been demonstrated. This removal of fish food organisms may exacerbate damage to fisheries, especially in the pH range of 5 to 6. When a lake loses all fish because of low pH, a few species of invertebrates may become very abundant. The salamanders Ambystoma jeffersonium and A. maculatum, sensitive to acidity below pH 7.0 and 5.0 respectively, are being eliminated from small ponds or temporary pools in the region around Ithaca, NY because of the impact of acid precipitation. Species of frogs in some lakes are also being eliminated because of acidification. (ERB)

  5. The quantification of spermatozoa by real-time quantitative PCR, spectrophotometry, and spermatophore cap size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doyle, Jacqueline M; McCormick, Cory R; DeWoody, J Andrew

    2011-01-01

    Many animals, such as crustaceans, insects, and salamanders, package their sperm into spermatophores, and the number of spermatozoa contained in a spermatophore is relevant to studies of sexual selection and sperm competition. We used two molecular methods, real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and spectrophotometry, to estimate sperm numbers from spermatophores. First, we designed gene-specific primers that produced a single amplicon in four species of ambystomatid salamanders. A standard curve generated from cloned amplicons revealed a strong positive relationship between template DNA quantity and cycle threshold, suggesting that RT-qPCR could be used to quantify sperm in a given sample. We then extracted DNA from multiple Ambystoma maculatum spermatophores, performed RT-qPCR on each sample, and estimated template copy numbers (i.e. sperm number) using the standard curve. Second, we used spectrophotometry to determine the number of sperm per spermatophore by measuring DNA concentration relative to the genome size. We documented a significant positive relationship between the estimates of sperm number based on RT-qPCR and those based on spectrophotometry. When these molecular estimates were compared to spermatophore cap size, which in principle could predict the number of sperm contained in the spermatophore, we also found a significant positive relationship between sperm number and spermatophore cap size. This linear model allows estimates of sperm number strictly from cap size, an approach which could greatly simplify the estimation of sperm number in future studies. These methods may help explain variation in fertilization success where sperm competition is mediated by sperm quantity.

  6. Analysis of signal processing in vestibular circuits with a novel light-emitting diodes-based fluorescence microscope.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Direnberger, Stephan; Banchi, Roberto; Brosel, Sonja; Seebacher, Christian; Laimgruber, Stefan; Uhl, Rainer; Felmy, Felix; Straka, Hans; Kunz, Lars

    2015-05-01

    Optical visualization of neural network activity is limited by imaging system-dependent technical tradeoffs. To overcome these constraints, we have developed a powerful low-cost and flexible imaging system with high spectral variability and unique spatio-temporal precision for simultaneous optical recording and manipulation of neural activity of large cell groups. The system comprises eight high-power light-emitting diodes, a camera with a large metal-oxide-semiconductor sensor and a high numerical aperture water-dipping objective. It allows fast and precise control of excitation and simultaneous low noise imaging at high resolution. Adjustable apertures generated two independent areas of variable size and position for simultaneous optical activation and image capture. The experimental applicability of this system was explored in semi-isolated preparations of larval axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) with intact inner ear organs and central nervous circuits. Cyclic galvanic stimulation of semicircular canals together with glutamate- and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-uncaging caused a corresponding modulation of Ca(2+) transients in central vestibular neurons. These experiments revealed specific cellular properties as well as synaptic interactions between excitatory and inhibitory inputs, responsible for spatio-temporal-specific sensory signal processing. Location-specific GABA-uncaging revealed a potent inhibitory shunt of vestibular nerve afferent input in the predominating population of tonic vestibular neurons, indicating a considerable impact of local and commissural inhibitory circuits on the processing of head/body motion-related signals. The discovery of these previously unknown properties of vestibular computations demonstrates the merits of our novel microscope system for experimental applications in the field of neurobiology.

  7. Impacts of road deicing salt on the demography of vernal pool-breeding amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karraker, Nancy E; Gibbs, James P; Vonesh, James R

    2008-04-01

    Deicing agents, primarily road salt, are applied to roads in 26 states in the United States and in a number of European countries, yet the scale of impacts of road salt on aquatic organisms remains largely under-studied. The issue is germane to amphibian conservation because both adult and larval amphibians are known to be particularly sensitive to changes in their osmolar environments. In this study, we combined survey, experimental, and demographic modeling approaches to evaluate the possible effects of road salt on two common vernal-pond-breeding amphibian species, the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) and the wood frog (Rana sylvatica). We found that in the Adirondack Mountain Region of New York (USA), road salt traveled up to 172 m from the highway into wetlands. Surveys showed that egg mass densities of spotted salamanders (A. maculatum) and wood frogs (R. sylvatica) were two times higher in forest pools than roadside pools, but this pattern was better explained by road proximity than by increased salinity. Experiments demonstrated that embryonic and larval survival were reduced at moderate (500 muS) and high conductivities (3000 muS) in A. maculatum and at high conductivities in R. sylvatica. Demographic models suggest that such egg and larval stage effects of salt may have important impacts on populations near roads, particularly in the case of A. maculatum, for which salt exposure may lead to local extinction. For both species, the effect of road salt was dependent upon the strength of larval density dependence and declined rapidly with distance from the roadside, with the greatest negative effects being limited to within 50 m. Based on this evidence, we argue that efforts to protect local populations of A. maculatum and R. sylvatica in roadside wetlands should, in part, be aimed at reducing application of road salt near wetlands with high conductivity levels.

  8. Functional characterization of the vertebrate primary ureter: Structure and ion transport mechanisms of the pronephric duct in axolotl larvae (Amphibia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prehn Lea R

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Three kidney systems appear during vertebrate development: the pronephroi, mesonephroi and metanephroi. The pronephric duct is the first or primary ureter of these kidney systems. Its role as a key player in the induction of nephrogenic mesenchyme is well established. Here we investigate whether the duct is involved in urine modification using larvae of the freshwater amphibian Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl as model. Results We investigated structural as well as physiological properties of the pronephric duct. The key elements of our methodology were: using histology, light and transmission electron microscopy as well as confocal laser scanning microscopy on fixed tissue and applying the microperfusion technique on isolated pronephric ducts in combination with single cell microelectrode impalements. Our data show that the fully differentiated pronephric duct is composed of a single layered epithelium consisting of one cell type comparable to the principal cell of the renal collecting duct system. The cells are characterized by a prominent basolateral labyrinth and a relatively smooth apical surface with one central cilium. Cellular impalements demonstrate the presence of apical Na+ and K+ conductances, as well as a large K+ conductance in the basolateral cell membrane. Immunolabeling experiments indicate heavy expression of Na+/K+-ATPase in the basolateral labyrinth. Conclusions We propose that the pronephric duct is important for the subsequent modification of urine produced by the pronephros. Our results indicate that it reabsorbs sodium and secretes potassium via channels present in the apical cell membrane with the driving force for ion movement provided by the Na+/K+ pump. This is to our knowledge the first characterization of the pronephric duct, the precursor of the collecting duct system, which provides a model of cell structure and basic mechanisms for ion transport. Such information may be important in understanding

  9. Parasite (Ribeiroia ondatrae) infection linked to amphibian malformations in the western United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, P.T.J.; Lunde, K.B.; Thurman, E.M.; Ritchie, E.G.; Wray, S.N.; Sutherland, D.R.; Kapfer, J.M.; Frest, T.J.; Bowerman, J.; Blaustein, A.R.

    2002-01-01

    Parasites and pathogens can influence the survivorship, behavior, and very structure of their host species. For example, experimental studies have shown that trematode parasites can cause high frequencies of severe limb malformations in amphibians. In a broad-scale field survey covering parts of California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana, we examined relationships between the frequency and types of morphological abnormalities in amphibians and the abundance of trematode parasite infection, pH, concentrations of 61 pesticides, and levels of orthophosphate and total nitrate. We recorded severe malformations at frequencies ranging from 1% to 90% in nine amphibian species from 53 aquatic systems. Infection of larvae by the trematode Ribeiroia ondatrae was associated with, and functionally related to, higher frequencies of amphibian limb malformations than found in uninfected populations (≤5%). Parasites were concentrated around the basal tissue of hind limbs in infected anurans, and malformations associated with infection included skin webbings, supernumerary limbs and digits, and missing or malformed hind limbs. In the absence of Ribeiroia, amphibian populations exhibited low (0-5%) frequencies of abnormalities involving missing digits or distal portions of a hind limb. Species were affected differentially by the parasite, and Ambystoma macrodactylum, Hyla regilla, Rand aurora, R. luteiventris, and Taricha torosa typically exhibited the highest frequencies of abnormalities. None of the water-quality variables measured was associated with malformed amphibians, but aquatic snail hosts (Planorbella spp.) were significant predictors of the presence and abundance of Ribeiroia infection. Morphological comparisons of adult specimens of Ribeiroia collected from different sites and raised in experimental definitive hosts suggested that all samples represented the same species - R. ondatrae. These field results, coupled with experimental research on the effects of

  10. Rapid increases and time-lagged declines in amphibian occupancy after wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossack, Blake R.; Lowe, Winsor H.; Corn, Paul Stephen

    2013-01-01

    Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and severity of drought and wildfire. Aquatic and moisture-sensitive species, such as amphibians, may be particularly vulnerable to these modified disturbance regimes because large wildfires often occur during extended droughts and thus may compound environmental threats. However, understanding of the effects of wildfires on amphibians in forests with long fire-return intervals is limited. Numerous stand-replacing wildfires have occurred since 1988 in Glacier National Park (Montana, U.S.A.), where we have conducted long-term monitoring of amphibians. We measured responses of 3 amphibian species to fires of different sizes, severity, and age in a small geographic area with uniform management. We used data from wetlands associated with 6 wildfires that burned between 1988 and 2003 to evaluate whether burn extent and severity and interactions between wildfire and wetland isolation affected the distribution of breeding populations. We measured responses with models that accounted for imperfect detection to estimate occupancy during prefire (0-4 years) and different postfire recovery periods. For the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum) and Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris), occupancy was not affected for 6 years after wildfire. But 7-21 years after wildfire, occupancy for both species decreased ≥ 25% in areas where >50% of the forest within 500 m of wetlands burned. In contrast, occupancy of the boreal toad (Anaxyrus boreas) tripled in the 3 years after low-elevation forests burned. This increase in occupancy was followed by a gradual decline. Our results show that accounting for magnitude of change and time lags is critical to understanding population dynamics of amphibians after large disturbances. Our results also inform understanding of the potential threat of increases in wildfire frequency or severity to amphibians in the region.

  11. Herpetofauna of the cedar glades and associated habitats of the Inner Central Basin of middle Tennessee

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niemiller, M.L.; Graham, Reynolds R.; Glorioso, B.M.; Spiess, J.; Miller, B.T.

    2011-01-01

    The cedar glades and barrens of the Inner Central Basin (ICB) of middle Tennessee support a unique and diverse flora and fauna and represent some of the state's most valued natural areas. We conducted herpetofaunal inventories of the cedar glades, associated barrens, cedar-hardwood forest, and adjacent aquatic habitats of the Stones River drainage of Middle Tennessee, focusing our sampling effort primarily at seven state- or federally owned properties in Rutherford and Wilson counties. These properties included Stones River National Battlefield (SRNB), Flat Rock State Natural Area (FRSNA), Vesta Cedar Glade State Natural Area (VSNA), Fall Creek Recreation Area (FCRA) on J. Percy Priest Wildlife Management Area, Cedars of Lebanon State Forest (CLSF), Cedars of Lebanon State Forest Natural Area (CLSNA), and Cedars of Lebanon State Park (CLSP). We used a variety of inventory techniques in terrestrial, aquatic, and subterranean habitats to survey these properties periodically from 1989 to 2010. We documented 49 species (22 amphibian and 27 reptile) accounting for 75.4% of the 65 herpetofaunal species thought to occur in the ICB, including records for Cemophora coccinea, Aneides aeneus, Gyrinophilus palleucus, Ambystoma barbouri, and Pseudotriton montanus. We found differences in alpha and beta diversity between sites, with the CLSF complex containing a high of 41 herpetofaunal species and FRSNA containing a low of 23 species. Beta diversity comparisons indicated similarity in amphibian species composition between FRSNA and CLSF and between SRNB and CLSF (9 shared species), and in reptile species composition between VSNA and the CLSF complex (16 shared species). We compare the results of our inventory with two previous studies conducted in the area and discuss the relative abundance, conservation, and threats to the herpetofaunal community of these habitats.

  12. Calcium regulates vesicle replenishment at the cone ribbon synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babai, Norbert; Bartoletti, Theodore M; Thoreson, Wallace B

    2010-11-24

    Cones release glutamate-filled vesicles continuously in darkness, and changing illumination modulates this release. Because sustained release in darkness is governed by vesicle replenishment rates, we analyzed how cone membrane potential regulates replenishment. Synaptic release from cones was measured by recording postsynaptic currents in Ambystoma tigrinum horizontal or OFF bipolar cells evoked by depolarization of simultaneously voltage-clamped cones. We measured replenishment after attaining a steady state between vesicle release and replenishment using trains of test pulses. Increasing Ca(2+) currents (I(Ca)) by changing the test step from -30 to -10 mV increased replenishment. Lengthening -30 mV test pulses to match the Ca(2+) influx during 25 ms test pulses to -10 mV produced similar replenishment rates. Reducing Ca(2+) driving force by using test steps to +30 mV slowed replenishment. Using UV flashes to reverse inhibition of I(Ca) by nifedipine accelerated replenishment. Increasing [Ca(2+)](i) by flash photolysis of caged Ca(2+) also accelerated replenishment. Replenishment, but not the initial burst of release, was enhanced by using an intracellular Ca(2+) buffer of 0.5 mm EGTA rather than 5 mm EGTA, and diminished by 1 mm BAPTA. This suggests that although release and replenishment exhibited similar Ca(2+) dependencies, release sites are replenishment sites are >200 nm away. Membrane potential thus regulates replenishment by controlling Ca(2+) influx, principally by effects on replenishment mechanisms but also by altering releasable pool size. This in turn provides a mechanism for converting changes in light intensity into changes in sustained release at the cone ribbon synapse.

  13. Hindcasting Historical Breeding Conditions for an Endangered Salamander in Ephemeral Wetlands of the Southeastern USA: Implications of Climate Change.

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    Houston C Chandler

    Full Text Available The hydroperiod of ephemeral wetlands is often the most important characteristic determining amphibian breeding success, especially for species with long development times. In mesic and wet pine flatwoods of the southeastern United States, ephemeral wetlands were a common landscape feature. Reticulated flatwoods salamanders (Ambystoma bishopi, a federally endangered species, depend exclusively on ephemeral wetlands and require at least 11 weeks to successfully metamorphose into terrestrial adults. We empirically modeled hydroperiod of 17 A. bishopi breeding wetlands by combining downscaled historical climate-model data with a recent 9-year record (2006-2014 of observed water levels. Empirical models were subsequently used to reconstruct wetland hydrologic conditions from 1896-2014 using the downscaled historical climate datasets. Reconstructed hydroperiods for the 17 wetlands were highly variable through time but were frequently unfavorable for A. bishopi reproduction (e.g., only 61% of years, using a conservative estimate of development time [12 weeks], were conducive to larval development and metamorphosis. Using change-point analysis, we identified significant shifts in average hydroperiod over the last century in all 17 wetlands. Mean hydroperiods were shorter in recent years than at any other point since 1896, and thus less suitable for A. bishopi reproduction. We suggest that climate change will continue to impact the reproductive success of flatwoods salamanders and other ephemeral wetland breeders by reducing the number of years these wetlands have suitable hydroperiods. Consequently, we emphasize the importance of conservation and management for mitigating other forms of habitat degradation, especially maintenance of high quality breeding sites where reproduction can occur during appropriate environmental conditions.

  14. Persistence and extirpation in invaded landscapes: patch characteristics and connectivity determine effects of non-native predatory fish on native salamanders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilliod, David S.; Arkle, Robert S.; Maxell, Bryce A.

    2012-01-01

    Studies have demonstrated negative effects of non-native, predatory fishes on native amphibians, yet it is still unclear why some amphibian populations persist, while others are extirpated, following fish invasion. We examined this question by developing habitat-based occupancy models for the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum) and nonnative fish using survey data from 1,749 water bodies across 470 catchments in the Northern Rocky Mountains, USA. We first modeled the habitat associations of salamanders at 468 fishless water bodies in 154 catchments where non-native fish were historically, and are currently, absent from the entire catchment. Wethen applied this habitat model to the complete data set to predict the probability of salamander occupancy in each water body, removing any effect of fish presence. Finally, we compared field-observed occurrences of salamanders and fish to modeled probability of salamander occupancy. Suitability models indicated that fish and salamanders had similar habitat preferences, possibly resulting in extirpations of salamander populations from entire catchments where suitable habitats were limiting. Salamanders coexisted with non-native fish in some catchments by using marginal quality, isolated (no inlet or outlet) habitats that remained fishless. They rarely coexisted with fish within individual water bodies and only where habitat quality was highest. Connectivity of water bodies via streams resulted in increased probability of fish invasion and consequently reduced probability of salamander occupancy.These results could be used to identify and prioritize catchments and water bodies where control measures would be most effective at restoring amphibian populations. Our approach could be useful as a framework for improved investigations into questions of persistence and extirpation of native species when non-native species have already become established.

  15. Abundance and phenology patterns of two pond-breeding salamanders determine species interactions in natural populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Thomas L; Hocking, Daniel J; Conner, Christopher A; Earl, Julia E; Harper, Elizabeth B; Osbourn, Michael S; Peterman, William E; Rittenhouse, Tracy A G; Semlitsch, Raymond D

    2015-03-01

    Phenology often determines the outcome of interspecific interactions, where early-arriving species often dominate interactions over those arriving later. The effects of phenology on species interactions are especially pronounced in aquatic systems, but the evidence is largely derived from experimental studies. We examined whether differences in breeding phenology between two pond-breeding salamanders (Ambystoma annulatum and A. maculatum) affected metamorph recruitment and demographic traits within natural populations, with the expectation that the fall-breeding A. annulatum would negatively affect the spring-breeding A. maculatum. We monitored populations of each species at five ponds over 4 years using drift fences. Metamorph abundance and survival of A. annulatum were affected by intra- and interspecific processes, whereas metamorph size and date of emigration were primarily influenced by intraspecific effects. Metamorph abundance, snout-vent length, date of emigration and survival for A. maculatum were all predicted by combinations of intra- and interspecific effects, but often showed negative relationships with A. annulatum metamorph traits and abundance. Size and date of metamorphosis were strongly correlated within each species, but in opposite patterns (negative for A. annulatum and positive for A. maculatum), suggesting that the two species use alternative strategies to enhance terrestrial survival and that these factors may influence their interactions. Our results match predictions from experimental studies that suggest recruitment is influenced by intra- and interspecific processes which are determined by phenological differences between species. Incorporating spatiotemporal variability when modeling population dynamics is necessary to understand the importance of phenology in species interactions, especially as shifts in phenology occur under climate change.

  16. Solution structure and phylogenetics of Prod1, a member of the three-finger protein superfamily implicated in salamander limb regeneration.

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    Acely Garza-Garcia

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Following the amputation of a limb, newts and salamanders have the capability to regenerate the lost tissues via a complex process that takes place at the site of injury. Initially these cells undergo dedifferentiation to a state competent to regenerate the missing limb structures. Crucially, dedifferentiated cells have memory of their level of origin along the proximodistal (PD axis of the limb, a property known as positional identity. Notophthalmus viridescens Prod1 is a cell-surface molecule of the three-finger protein (TFP superfamily involved in the specification of newt limb PD identity. The TFP superfamily is a highly diverse group of metazoan proteins that includes snake venom toxins, mammalian transmembrane receptors and miscellaneous signaling molecules. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: With the aim of identifying potential orthologs of Prod1, we have solved its 3D structure and compared it to other known TFPs using phylogenetic techniques. The analysis shows that TFP 3D structures group in different categories according to function. Prod1 clusters with other cell surface protein TFP domains including the complement regulator CD59 and the C-terminal domain of urokinase-type plasminogen activator. To infer orthology, a structure-based multiple sequence alignment of representative TFP family members was built and analyzed by phylogenetic methods. Prod1 has been proposed to be the salamander CD59 but our analysis fails to support this association. Prod1 is not a good match for any of the TFP families present in mammals and this result was further supported by the identification of the putative orthologs of both CD59 and N. viridescens Prod1 in sequence data for the salamander Ambystoma tigrinum. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The available data suggest that Prod1, and thereby its role in encoding PD identity, is restricted to salamanders. The lack of comparable limb-regenerative capability in other adult vertebrates could be

  17. Microarray analysis of microRNA expression during axolotl limb regeneration.

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    Edna C Holman

    Full Text Available Among vertebrates, salamanders stand out for their remarkable capacity to quickly regrow a myriad of tissues and organs after injury or amputation. The limb regeneration process in axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum has been well studied for decades at the cell-tissue level. While several developmental genes are known to be reactivated during this epimorphic process, less is known about the role of microRNAs in urodele amphibian limb regeneration. Given the compelling evidence that many microRNAs tightly regulate cell fate and morphogenetic processes through development and adulthood by modulating the expression (or re-expression of developmental genes, we investigated the possibility that microRNA levels change during limb regeneration. Using two different microarray platforms to compare the axolotl microRNA expression between mid-bud limb regenerating blastemas and non-regenerating stump tissues, we found that miR-21 was overexpressed in mid-bud blastemas compared to stump tissue. Mature A. mexicanum ("Amex" miR-21 was detected in axolotl RNA by Northern blot and differential expression of Amex-miR-21 in blastema versus stump was confirmed by quantitative RT-PCR. We identified the Amex Jagged1 as a putative target gene for miR-21 during salamander limb regeneration. We cloned the full length 3'UTR of Amex-Jag1, and our in vitro assays demonstrated that its single miR-21 target recognition site is functional and essential for the response of the Jagged1 gene to miR-21 levels. Our findings pave the road for advanced in vivo functional assays aimed to clarify how microRNAs such as miR-21, often linked to pathogenic cell growth, might be modulating the redeployment of developmental genes such as Jagged1 during regenerative processes.

  18. Microarray and cDNA sequence analysis of transcription during nerve-dependent limb regeneration

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    Bryant Susan V

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Microarray analysis and 454 cDNA sequencing were used to investigate a centuries-old problem in regenerative biology: the basis of nerve-dependent limb regeneration in salamanders. Innervated (NR and denervated (DL forelimbs of Mexican axolotls were amputated and transcripts were sampled after 0, 5, and 14 days of regeneration. Results Considerable similarity was observed between NR and DL transcriptional programs at 5 and 14 days post amputation (dpa. Genes with extracellular functions that are critical to wound healing were upregulated while muscle-specific genes were downregulated. Thus, many processes that are regulated during early limb regeneration do not depend upon nerve-derived factors. The majority of the transcriptional differences between NR and DL limbs were correlated with blastema formation; cell numbers increased in NR limbs after 5 dpa and this yielded distinct transcriptional signatures of cell proliferation in NR limbs at 14 dpa. These transcriptional signatures were not observed in DL limbs. Instead, gene expression changes within DL limbs suggest more diverse and protracted wound-healing responses. 454 cDNA sequencing complemented the microarray analysis by providing deeper sampling of transcriptional programs and associated biological processes. Assembly of new 454 cDNA sequences with existing expressed sequence tag (EST contigs from the Ambystoma EST database more than doubled (3935 to 9411 the number of non-redundant human-A. mexicanum orthologous sequences. Conclusion Many new candidate gene sequences were discovered for the first time and these will greatly enable future studies of wound healing, epigenetics, genome stability, and nerve-dependent blastema formation and outgrowth using the axolotl model.

  19. Terrestrial distribution of pond-breeding salamanders around an isolated wetland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, David E; Komoroski, Mark J; Croshaw, Dean A; Dixon, Philip M

    2013-11-01

    Terrestrial habitats surrounding isolated wetlands are a critical resource for many pond-breeding amphibian species, yet few studies have examined the terrestrial distribution of post-metamorphic juveniles and adults. We used an encircling drift fence at a breeding pond in conjunction with partial fences at 90, 172, and 332 m from the wetland to estimate the terrestrial distribution of adult marbled salamanders (Ambystoma opacum; four breeding seasons) and mole salamanders (A. talpoideum; two seasons), as well as the dispersion of newly metamorphosed A. opacum (one summer). For newly metamorphosed A. opacum, 79% emigrated < 90 m from the wetland, and 8% moved beyond 172 m; movement distance was unrelated to body size. Distribution of adult A. opacum varied among years, with an average of 28% (range 23-31%) occurring beyond 172 m in all years. Averaged across two years, 51% of adult A. talpoideum occurred beyond 172 m. Lognormal models provided a good fit to both the juvenile and adult ambystomatid distributions, and parameters differed between age classes, sexes, species, and years within species. For adult A. opacum a buffer radius of 300 m or 340 m, depending on the year, is estimated to include 95% of adults; for A. talpoideum the estimate is 464 m or 501 m. A reanalysis of distribution data for seven ambystomatid species shows that a previous estimate of a 164-m radius to protect 95% of a population underestimates the needed buffer radius by 185 m. Because our study wetland requires a nearly 500 m wide radius to protect 95% of its ambystomatid adults, preservation of similar communities may require much more surrounding terrestrial habitat than previously thought.

  20. Interactive effects of wildfire, forest management, and isolation on amphibian and parasite abundance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossack, Blake R.; Corn, P. Stephen; Winsor H. Lowe,; R. Kenneth Honeycutt,; Sean A. Parks,

    2013-01-01

    Projected increases in wildfire and other climate-driven disturbances will affect populations and communities worldwide, including host–parasite relationships. Research in temperate forests has shown that wildfire can negatively affect amphibians, but this research has occurred primarily outside of managed landscapes where interactions with human disturbances could result in additive or synergistic effects. Furthermore, parasites represent a large component of biodiversity and can affect host fitness and population dynamics, yet they are rarely included in studies of how vertebrate hosts respond to disturbance. To determine how wildfire affects amphibians and their parasites, and whether effects differ between protected and managed landscapes, we compared abundance of two amphibians and two nematodes relative to wildfire extent and severity around wetlands in neighboring protected and managed forests (Montana, USA). Population sizes of adult, male long-toed salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum) decreased with increased burn severity, with stronger negative effects on isolated populations and in managed forests. In contrast, breeding population sizes of Columbia spotted frogs (Rana luteiventris) increased with burn extent in both protected and managed protected forests. Path analysis showed that the effects of wildfire on the two species of nematodes were consistent with differences in their life history and transmission strategies and the responses of their hosts. Burn severity indirectly reduced abundance of soil-transmitted Cosmocercoides variabilis through reductions in salamander abundance. Burn severity also directly reduced C. variabilis abundance, possibly though changes in soil conditions. For the aquatically transmitted nematode Gyrinicola batrachiensis, the positive effect of burn extent on density of Columbia spotted frog larvae indirectly increased parasite abundance. Our results show that effects of wildfire on amphibians depend upon burn extent

  1. Microarray analysis of microRNA expression during axolotl limb regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holman, Edna C; Campbell, Leah J; Hines, John; Crews, Craig M

    2012-01-01

    Among vertebrates, salamanders stand out for their remarkable capacity to quickly regrow a myriad of tissues and organs after injury or amputation. The limb regeneration process in axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) has been well studied for decades at the cell-tissue level. While several developmental genes are known to be reactivated during this epimorphic process, less is known about the role of microRNAs in urodele amphibian limb regeneration. Given the compelling evidence that many microRNAs tightly regulate cell fate and morphogenetic processes through development and adulthood by modulating the expression (or re-expression) of developmental genes, we investigated the possibility that microRNA levels change during limb regeneration. Using two different microarray platforms to compare the axolotl microRNA expression between mid-bud limb regenerating blastemas and non-regenerating stump tissues, we found that miR-21 was overexpressed in mid-bud blastemas compared to stump tissue. Mature A. mexicanum ("Amex") miR-21 was detected in axolotl RNA by Northern blot and differential expression of Amex-miR-21 in blastema versus stump was confirmed by quantitative RT-PCR. We identified the Amex Jagged1 as a putative target gene for miR-21 during salamander limb regeneration. We cloned the full length 3'UTR of Amex-Jag1, and our in vitro assays demonstrated that its single miR-21 target recognition site is functional and essential for the response of the Jagged1 gene to miR-21 levels. Our findings pave the road for advanced in vivo functional assays aimed to clarify how microRNAs such as miR-21, often linked to pathogenic cell growth, might be modulating the redeployment of developmental genes such as Jagged1 during regenerative processes.

  2. Variation in salamander tail regeneration is associated with genetic factors that determine tail morphology.

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    Gareth J Voss

    Full Text Available Very little is known about the factors that cause variation in regenerative potential within and between species. Here, we used a genetic approach to identify heritable genetic factors that explain variation in tail regenerative outgrowth. A hybrid ambystomatid salamander (Ambystoma mexicanum x A. andersoni was crossed to an A. mexicanum and 217 offspring were induced to undergo metamorphosis and attain terrestrial adult morphology using thyroid hormone. Following metamorphosis, each salamander's tail tip was amputated and allowed to regenerate, and then amputated a second time and allowed to regenerate. Also, DNA was isolated from all individuals and genotypes were determined for 187 molecular markers distributed throughout the genome. The area of tissue that regenerated after the first and second amputations was highly positively correlated across males and females. Males presented wider tails and regenerated more tail tissue during both episodes of regeneration. Approximately 66-68% of the variation in regenerative outgrowth was explained by tail width, while tail length and genetic sex did not explain a significant amount of variation. A small effect QTL was identified as having a sex-independent effect on tail regeneration, but this QTL was only identified for the first episode of regeneration. Several molecular markers significantly affected regenerative outgrowth during both episodes of regeneration, but the effect sizes were small (<4% and correlated with tail width. The results show that ambysex and minor effect QTL explain variation in adult tail morphology and importantly, tail width. In turn, tail width at the amputation plane largely determines the rate of regenerative outgrowth. Because amputations in this study were made at approximately the same position of the tail, our results resolve an outstanding question in regenerative biology: regenerative outgrowth positively co-varies as a function of tail width at the amputation site.

  3. Variation in salamander tail regeneration is associated with genetic factors that determine tail morphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voss, Gareth J; Kump, D Kevin; Walker, John A; Voss, S Randal

    2013-01-01

    Very little is known about the factors that cause variation in regenerative potential within and between species. Here, we used a genetic approach to identify heritable genetic factors that explain variation in tail regenerative outgrowth. A hybrid ambystomatid salamander (Ambystoma mexicanum x A. andersoni) was crossed to an A. mexicanum and 217 offspring were induced to undergo metamorphosis and attain terrestrial adult morphology using thyroid hormone. Following metamorphosis, each salamander's tail tip was amputated and allowed to regenerate, and then amputated a second time and allowed to regenerate. Also, DNA was isolated from all individuals and genotypes were determined for 187 molecular markers distributed throughout the genome. The area of tissue that regenerated after the first and second amputations was highly positively correlated across males and females. Males presented wider tails and regenerated more tail tissue during both episodes of regeneration. Approximately 66-68% of the variation in regenerative outgrowth was explained by tail width, while tail length and genetic sex did not explain a significant amount of variation. A small effect QTL was identified as having a sex-independent effect on tail regeneration, but this QTL was only identified for the first episode of regeneration. Several molecular markers significantly affected regenerative outgrowth during both episodes of regeneration, but the effect sizes were small (<4%) and correlated with tail width. The results show that ambysex and minor effect QTL explain variation in adult tail morphology and importantly, tail width. In turn, tail width at the amputation plane largely determines the rate of regenerative outgrowth. Because amputations in this study were made at approximately the same position of the tail, our results resolve an outstanding question in regenerative biology: regenerative outgrowth positively co-varies as a function of tail width at the amputation site.

  4. Is salamander limb regeneration really perfect? Anatomical and morphogenetic analysis of forelimb muscle regeneration in GFP-transgenic axolotls as a basis for regenerative, developmental, and evolutionary studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diogo, R; Nacu, E; Tanaka, E M

    2014-06-01

    The axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum is one of the most commonly used model organisms in developmental and regenerative studies because it can reconstitute what is believed to be a completely normal anatomical and functional forelimb/hindlimb after amputation. However, to date it has not been confirmed whether each regenerated forelimb muscle is really a "perfect" copy of the original muscle. This study describes the regeneration of the arm, forearm, hand, and some pectoral muscles (e.g., coracoradialis) in transgenic axolotls that express green fluorescent protein (GFP) in muscle fibers. The observations found that: (1) there were muscle anomalies in 43% of the regenerated forelimbs; (2) however, on average in each regenerated forelimb there are anomalies in only 2.5% of the total number of muscles examined, and there were no significant differences observed in the specific insertion and origin of the other muscles analyzed; (3) one of the most notable and common anomalies (seen in 35% of the regenerated forelimbs) was the presence of a fleshy coracoradialis at the level of the arm; this is a particularly outstanding configuration because in axolotls and in urodeles in general this muscle only has a thin tendon at the level of the arm, and the additional fleshy belly in the regenerated arms is strikingly similar to the fleshy biceps brachii of amniotes, suggesting a remarkable parallel between a regeneration defect and a major phenotypic change that occurred during tetrapod limb evolution; (4) during forelimb muscle regeneration there was a clear proximo-distal and radio-ulnar morphogenetic gradient, as seen in normal development, but also a ventro-dorsal gradient in the order of regeneration, which was not previously described in the literature. These results have broader implications for regenerative, evolutionary, developmental and morphogenetic studies.

  5. Reducing bias in population and landscape genetic inferences: the effects of sampling related individuals and multiple life stages.

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    Peterman, William; Brocato, Emily R; Semlitsch, Raymond D; Eggert, Lori S

    2016-01-01

    In population or landscape genetics studies, an unbiased sampling scheme is essential for generating accurate results, but logistics may lead to deviations from the sample design. Such deviations may come in the form of sampling multiple life stages. Presently, it is largely unknown what effect sampling different life stages can have on population or landscape genetic inference, or how mixing life stages can affect the parameters being measured. Additionally, the removal of siblings from a data set is considered best-practice, but direct comparisons of inferences made with and without siblings are limited. In this study, we sampled embryos, larvae, and adult Ambystoma maculatum from five ponds in Missouri, and analyzed them at 15 microsatellite loci. We calculated allelic richness, heterozygosity and effective population sizes for each life stage at each pond and tested for genetic differentiation (F ST and D C ) and isolation-by-distance (IBD) among ponds. We tested for differences in each of these measures between life stages, and in a pooled population of all life stages. All calculations were done with and without sibling pairs to assess the effect of sibling removal. We also assessed the effect of reducing the number of microsatellites used to make inference. No statistically significant differences were found among ponds or life stages for any of the population genetic measures, but patterns of IBD differed among life stages. There was significant IBD when using adult samples, but tests using embryos, larvae, or a combination of the three life stages were not significant. We found that increasing the ratio of larval or embryo samples in the analysis of genetic distance weakened the IBD relationship, and when using D C , the IBD was no longer significant when larvae and embryos exceeded 60% of the population sample. Further, power to detect an IBD relationship was reduced when fewer microsatellites were used in the analysis.

  6. Expression of sarcomeric tropomyosin in striated muscles in axolotl treated with shz-1, a small cardiogenic molecule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nan, Changlong; Dube, Syamalima; Matoq, Amr; Mikesell, Lauren; Abbott, Lynn; Alshiekh-Nasany, Ruham; Chionuma, Henry; Huang, Xupei; Poiesz, Bernard J; Dube, Dipak K

    2015-01-01

    We evaluated the effect of shz-1, a cardiogenic molecule, on the expression of various tropomyosin (TM) isoforms in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) hearts. qRT-PCR data show a ~1.5-fold increase in cardiac transcripts of the Nkx2.5 gene, which plays a crucial role in cardiogenesis in vertebrates. Shz-1 augments the expression of transcripts of the total sarcomeric TPM1 (both TPM1α & TPM1κ) and sarcomeric TPM4α. In order to understand the mechanism by which shz-1 augments the expression of sarcomeric TPM transcription in axolotl hearts, we transfected C2C12 cells with pGL3.axolotl. We transfected C2C12 cells with pGL3-axolotl TPM4 promoter constructs containing the firefly luciferase reporter gene. The transfected C2C12 cells were grown in the absence or presence of shz-1 (5 μM). Subsequently, we determined the firefly luciferase activity in the extracts of transfected cells. The results suggest that shz-1 activates the axolotl TPM4 promoter-driven ectopic expression in C2C12 cells. Also, we transfected C2C12 cells with a pGL3.1 vector containing the promoter of the mouse skeletal muscle troponin-I and observed a similar increase in the luciferase activity in shz-1-treated cells. We conclude that shz-1 activates the promoters of a variety of genes including axolotl TPM4. We have quantified the expression of the total sarcomeric TPM1 and observed a 1.5-fold increase in treated cells. Western blot analyses with CH1 monoclonal antibody specific for sarcomeric isoforms show that shz-1 does not increase the expression of TM protein in axolotl hearts, whereas it does in C2C12 cells. These findings support our hypothesis that cardiac TM expression in axolotl undergoes translational control.

  7. Precise control of miR-125b levels is required to create a regeneration-permissive environment after spinal cord injury: a cross-species comparison between salamander and rat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Felipe Diaz Quiroz

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Most spinal cord injuries lead to permanent paralysis in mammals. By contrast, the remarkable regenerative abilities of salamanders enable full functional recovery even from complete spinal cord transections. The molecular differences underlying this evolutionary divergence between mammals and amphibians are poorly understood. We focused on upstream regulators of gene expression as primary entry points into this question. We identified a group of microRNAs (miRNAs that are conserved between the Mexican axolotl salamander (Ambystoma mexicanum and mammals but show marked cross-species differences in regulation patterns following spinal cord injury. We found that precise post-injury levels of one of these miRNAs (miR-125b is essential for functional recovery, and guides correct regeneration of axons through the lesion site in a process involving the direct downstream target Sema4D in axolotls. Translating these results to a mammalian model, we increased miR-125b levels in the rat through mimic treatments following spinal cord transection. These treatments downregulated Sema4D and other glial-scar-related genes, and enhanced the animal’s functional recovery. Our study identifies a key regulatory molecule conserved between salamander and mammal, and shows that the expression of miR-125b and Sema4D must be carefully controlled in the right cells at the correct level to promote regeneration. We also show that these molecular components of the salamander’s regeneration-permissive environment can be experimentally harnessed to improve treatment outcomes for mammalian spinal cord injuries.

  8. Projecting invasion risk of non-native watersnakes (Nerodia fasciata and Nerodia sipedon in the western United States.

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    Jonathan P Rose

    Full Text Available Species distribution models (SDMs are increasingly used to project the potential distribution of introduced species outside their native range. Such studies rarely explicitly evaluate potential conflicts with native species should the range of introduced species expand. Two snake species native to eastern North America, Nerodia fasciata and Nerodia sipedon, have been introduced to California where they represent a new stressor to declining native amphibians, fish, and reptiles. To project the potential distributions of these non-native watersnakes in western North America, we built ensemble SDMs using MaxEnt, Boosted Regression Trees, and Random Forests and habitat and climatic variables. We then compared the overlap between the projected distribution of invasive watersnakes and the distributions of imperiled native amphibians, fish, and reptiles that can serve as prey or competitors for the invaders, to estimate the risk to native species posed by non-native watersnakes. Large areas of western North America were projected to be climatically suitable for both species of Nerodia according to our ensemble SDMs, including much of central California. The potential distributions of both N. fasciata and N. sipedon overlap extensively with the federally threatened Giant Gartersnake, Thamnophis gigas, which inhabits a similar ecological niche. N. fasciata also poses risk to the federally threatened California Tiger Salamander, Ambystoma californiense, whereas N. sipedon poses risk to some amphibians of conservation concern, including the Foothill Yellow-legged Frog, Rana boylii. We conclude that non-native watersnakes in California can likely inhabit ranges of several native species of conservation concern that are expected to suffer as prey or competing species for these invaders. Action should be taken now to eradicate or control these invasions before detrimental impacts on native species are widespread. Our methods can be applied broadly to quantify

  9. Action mechanism of betahistine in the vestibular end organs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chávez, H; Vega, R; Valli, P; Mira, E; Benvenuti, C; Guth, P S; Soto, E

    2001-06-01

    Betahistine has been used to treat several vestibular disorders of both central and peripheral origin. The objective of this work was to study the betahistine action mechanism at the vestibular end organs. Experiments were carried out in wild larval axolotl (Ambystoma tigrinum). Multiunit extracellular recordings were obtained from the semicircular canal nerve using a suction electrode. Betahistine (10 microM to 10 mM, n = 32) inhibited the basal spike discharge of the vestibular afferent neurons with an IC50 of 600 microM. To define the site of action of betahistine, its interactions with antagonists of nitric oxide sintethizing enzyme, cholinergic drugs, and excitatory amino acids were studied. Betahistine 1 mM (n = 5) was coadministered with NG-nitro-L-arginine 3 microM. The action of betahistine remained as in control experiments. Betahistine 1 mM reduced the excitatory action of carbachol (200 microM, n = 5) in a 30 +/- 3.4%. Cholinergic antagonists atropine (10 microM, n = 3) and d-tubocurarine (10 microM, n = 3) did not modify betahistine actions. Betahistine 1 mM also reduced kainic acid (10 microM, n = 4) excitatory action in 45.5 +/- 9.8%. These results corroborate that betahistine has a peripheral inhibitory action in the spike discharge of the afferent neurons in the vestibule. This action seems to involve neither NO production nor modifications in the release of acetylcholine from the efferent fibers. The inhibitory action of betahistine seems to be due to a postsynaptic binding site on the afferent neurons.

  10. Estimating occupancy dynamics for large-scale monitoring networks: amphibian breeding occupancy across protected areas in the northeast United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, David A.W.; Grant, Evan H. Campbell

    2015-01-01

    Regional monitoring strategies frequently employ a nested sampling design where a finite set of study areas from throughout a region are selected within which intensive sub-sampling occurs. This sampling protocol naturally lends itself to a hierarchical analysis to account for dependence among sub-samples. Implementing such an analysis within a classic likelihood framework is computationally prohibitive with species occurrence data when accounting for detection probabilities. Bayesian methods offer an alternative framework to make this analysis feasible. We demonstrate a general approach for estimating occupancy when data come from a nested sampling design. Using data from a regional monitoring program of wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) and spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) in vernal pools, we analyzed data using static and dynamic occupancy frameworks. We analyzed observations from 2004-2013collected within 14 protected areas located throughout the northeast United States . We use the data set to estimate trends in occupancy at both the regional and individual protected area level. We show that occupancy at the regional level was relatively stable for both species. Much more variation occurred within individual study areas, with some populations declining and some increasing for both species. We found some evidence for a latitudinal gradient in trends among protected areas. However, support for this pattern is overestimated when the hierarchical nature of the data collection is not controlled for in the analysis. For both species, occupancy appeared to be declining in the most southern areas, while occupancy was stable or increasing in more northern areas. These results shed light on the range-level population status of these pond-breeding amphibians and our approach provides a framework that can be used to examine drivers of change including among-year and among-site variation in occurrence dynamics, while properly accounting for nested structure of

  11. Foraging trade-offs along a predator-permanence gradient in subalpine wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wissinger, S.A.; Whiteman, H.H.; Sparks, G.B.; Rouse, G.L.; Brown, W.S.

    1999-01-01

    We conducted a series of field and laboratory experiments to determine the direct and indirect effects of a top predator, the tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum nebulosum), on larvae of two species of limnephilid caddisflies (Limnephilus externus and Asynarchus nigriculus) in subalpine wetlands in central Colorado. Asynarchus larvae predominate in temporary wetlands and are aggressive intraguild predators on Limnephilus larvae, which only predominate in permanent basins with salamanders. We first conducted a field experiment in mesocosms (cattle tanks) to quantify the predatory effects of different life stages of salamanders on the two caddisfly species. Two life stages of the salamanders (larvae and paedomorphs) preferentially preyed on Asynarchus relative to Limnephilus. Subsequent laboratory experiments revealed that high Asynarchus activity rates and relatively ineffective antipredatory behaviors led to higher salamander detection and attack rates compared to Limnephilus. In a second field experiment (full factorial for presence and absence of each of the three species), we found that salamander predation on Asynarchus had an indirect positive effect on Limnephilus: survival was higher in the presence of salamanders + Asynarchus than with just Asynarchus. In the laboratory we compared the predatory effects of salamanders with and without their mouths sewn shut and found the observed indirect positive effect on Limnephilus survival to be mainly the result of reduced numbers of Asynarchus rather than salamander-induced changes in Asynarchus behavior. We argue that indirect effects of predator-predator interactions on shared prey will be mainly density-mediated and not trait-mediated when one of the predators (in this case, Asynarchus) is under strong selection for rapid growth and therefore does not modify foraging behaviors in response to the other predator. The reciprocal dominance of Limnephilus and Asynarchus in habitats with and without salamanders

  12. Complete sequence determination of a novel reptile iridovirus isolated from soft-shelled turtle and evolutionary analysis of Iridoviridae

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    Wang Xiujie

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Soft-shelled turtle iridovirus (STIV is the causative agent of severe systemic diseases in cultured soft-shelled turtles (Trionyx sinensis. To our knowledge, the only molecular information available on STIV mainly concerns the highly conserved STIV major capsid protein. The complete sequence of the STIV genome is not yet available. Therefore, determining the genome sequence of STIV and providing a detailed bioinformatic analysis of its genome content and evolution status will facilitate further understanding of the taxonomic elements of STIV and the molecular mechanisms of reptile iridovirus pathogenesis. Results We determined the complete nucleotide sequence of the STIV genome using 454 Life Science sequencing technology. The STIV genome is 105 890 bp in length with a base composition of 55.1% G+C. Computer assisted analysis revealed that the STIV genome contains 105 potential open reading frames (ORFs, which encode polypeptides ranging from 40 to 1,294 amino acids and 20 microRNA candidates. Among the putative proteins, 20 share homology with the ancestral proteins of the nuclear and cytoplasmic large DNA viruses (NCLDVs. Comparative genomic analysis showed that STIV has the highest degree of sequence conservation and a colinear arrangement of genes with frog virus 3 (FV3, followed by Tiger frog virus (TFV, Ambystoma tigrinum virus (ATV, Singapore grouper iridovirus (SGIV, Grouper iridovirus (GIV and other iridovirus isolates. Phylogenetic analysis based on conserved core genes and complete genome sequence of STIV with other virus genomes was performed. Moreover, analysis of the gene gain-and-loss events in the family Iridoviridae suggested that the genes encoded by iridoviruses have evolved for favoring adaptation to different natural host species. Conclusion This study has provided the complete genome sequence of STIV. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that STIV and FV3 are strains of the same viral species belonging to the

  13. 2010 Dry and 2009 - 2010 Wet Season Branchiopod Survey Report, Site 300

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dexter, W

    2011-03-14

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) requested that Condor Country Consulting, Inc. (CCCI) perform wet season surveys and manage the dry season sampling for listed branchiopods in two ponded locations within the Site 300 Experimental Test Site. Site 300 is located in Alameda and San Joaquin Counties, located between the Cities of Livermore and Tracy. The two pool locations have been identified for possible amphibian enhancement activities in support of the Compensation Plan for impacts tied to the Building 850 soil clean-up project. The Building 850 project design resulted in formal consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as an amendment (File 81420-2009-F-0235) to the site-wide Biological Opinion (BO) (File 1-1-02-F-0062) in the spring of 2009 and requires mitigation for the California tiger salamander (AMCA, Ambystoma californiense) and California red-legged frog (CRLF, Rana draytonii) habitat loss. Both pools contain breeding AMCA, but do not produce metamorphs due to limited hydroperiod. The pool to the southeast (Pool BC-FS-2) is the preferred site for amphibian enhancement activities, and the wetland to northwest (Pool OA-FS-1) is the alternate location for enhancement. However, prior to enhancement, LLNL has been directed by USFWS (BO Conservation Measure 17 iii) to 'conduct USFWS protocol-level branchiopod surveys to determine whether listed brachiopod species are present within the compensation area.' CCCI conducted surveys for listed branchiopods in the 2009-2010 wet season to determine the presence of federally-listed branchiopods at the two pools (previous surveys with negative findings were performed by CCCI in 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 onsite). Surveys were conducted to partially satisfy the survey requirements of the USFWS 'Interim Survey Guidelines to Permittees for Recovery Permits under Section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered Species Act for the Listed Vernal Pool Branchiopods' ('Guidelines, USFWS

  14. Homodimeric anoctamin-1, but not homodimeric anoctamin-6, is activated by calcium increases mediated by the P2Y1 and P2X7 receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stolz, Michaela; Klapperstück, Manuela; Kendzierski, Thomas; Detro-Dassen, Silvia; Panning, Anna; Schmalzing, Günther; Markwardt, Fritz

    2015-10-01

    The P2X7 receptor (P2X7R) is a ligand-gated ion channel that conducts Na(+), K(+), and Ca(2+) when activated by extracellular ATP. In various cell types, such as secretory epithelia, the P2X7R is co-expressed with Ca(2+)-dependent Cl(-) channels of the TMEM16/anoctamin family. Here, we studied whether the P2X7R and TMEM16A/anoctamin-1 (Ano1) or TMEM16F/anoctamin-6 (Ano6) interact functionally and physically, using oocytes of Xenopus laevis and Ambystoma mexicanum (Axolotl) for heterologous expression. As a control, we co-expressed anoctamin-1 with the P2Y1 receptor (P2Y1R), which induces the release of Ca(2+) from intracellular stores via activating phospholipase C through coupling to Gαq. We found that co-expression of anoctamin-1 with the P2Y1R resulted in a small transient increase in Cl(-) conductance in response to ATP. Co-expression of anoctamin-1 with the P2X7R resulted in a large sustained increase in Cl(-) conductance via Ca(2+) influx through the ATP-opened P2X7R in Xenopus and in Axolotl oocytes, which lack endogenous Ca(2+)-dependent Cl(-) channels. P2Y1R- or P2X7R-mediated stimulation of Ano1 was primarily functional, as demonstrated by the absence of a physically stable interaction between Ano1 and the P2X7R. In the pancreatic cell line AsPC-1, we found the same functional Ca(2+)-dependent interaction of P2X7R and Ano1. The P2X7R-mediated sustained activation of Ano1 may be physiologically relevant to the time course of stimulus-secretion coupling in secretory epithelia. No such increase in Cl(-) conductance could be elicited by activating the P2X7 receptor in either Xenopus oocytes or Axolotl oocytes co-expressing Ano6. The lack of function of Ano6 can, at least in part, be explained by its poor cell-surface expression, resulting from a relatively inefficient exit of the homodimeric Ano6 from the endoplasmic reticulum.